The Galician-Portuguese medieval lyric is considered the golden age of Galician literature. The author posits that among all the forms of this rich tradition, the cantigas de amigo stand out as the most delicate and elaborate expression of Galician culture. These songs express themes of love, yearning, and devotion, and are considered an emblematic representation of the Galician-Portuguese identity.

The Ensemble Lauda has assembled a selection of eighteen cantigas de amigo that are connected with Galician-Portuguese sanctuaries, and through this album, they recreate the delicacy and complexity that is inherent to this lyrical form. The compact description of this collection belies the numerous debates and readings that have emerged around these songs, incorporating a plethora of historiographical, philological, cultural, and even feminist perspectives.

Overall, the significant cultural value of the Galician-Portuguese medieval lyric and, in particular, the cantigas de amigo, highlighting the broad scholarly discourse that has surrounded this tradition. Ensemble Lauda has made a valuable contribution to the preservation and appreciation of these treasured works through their performance in this album.

Type: CD
Label: Aliud
UPC: 8717775551355
Catalog number: ACD OH 111-2
Release date:  May 15, 2020

The emergence of secular devotional lyric in Italy can be traced back to the poem ‘Cántico del hermano sol’ ‘Altissimo, omnipotente bon signore’ by Saint Francis of Assisi. The political and social context of the communes, which emerged as alternatives to entrenched feudalism, played a crucial role in the birth of the first lay confraternities. These confraternities became an expression of popular art and aimed to offer support to the poor and care for places of worship. The confraternity of Santa Maria de la Laude of the Church of San Francesco in Cortona, Tuscany, produced an important musical production in the 13th century, known as Laudario di Cortona.

The manuscript contains 65 laudas, 46 of which are preserved with music, and the only known authors are Jacopone da Todi, Guittone d’Arezzo, and a certain Garzo. The texts serve a didactic function and are dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Christ, and events in the lives of the saints. The language used is vivid and affective, aimed at attracting the listener to a state of obedience and praise. The emergence of lay confraternities as expressions of popular art and their musical productions such as the Laudario di Cortona, testify to the importance of the socio-political context in shaping the devotional lyric tradition in Italy.

Type: CD
Label: Aliud
Release date:  Work in progress