THE INTREPID ACADEMY’S FIRST CD “INGANNO” is inspired by the “divine and sacred college”, an Accademia at the cultural heart of sixteenth century Venice, where the music was directed by the great Flemish composer Adriaan Willaert. Venice loved Willaert, as much for his modesty and gravity as for the astonishing power of his compositions, lauding him as “prince of music”, and “the new Prometheus”. “INGANNO” will be the first recording to include all of Willaert’s 1559 three-part ricercars. Supreme and early examples of pure, extended instrumental counterpoint, the ricercars were much admired in their day, and a complete recording is long overdue. The disc pairs them with settings of Dido’s last words, with texts by Virgil and Ovid, and music by composers strongly connected to the Accademia: Jaques Arcadelt, Cipriano de Rore, Bartolomeo Tromboncino and Willaert himself.
The deceptions of Inganno were an integral part of Renaissance arts. Literature took mischievous pleasure in its double-entendre, and drama relished plays in which boy actors played the parts of girls who disguised themselves as boys – one of these plays was actually called l’Ingannati – “The deceived”. In music and the visual arts, inganno was less frivolous. Since Leonardo and Brunelleschi, art had adopted “gli artificiosi inganni de la Perspettiva” (“the artful delights of perspective”), and its ultimate use in trompe l’oeil. In music, inganno was the name given to the ways in which composers, Willaert in particular, disguised melodic imitation in his Ricercars, and used rhythmic displacement in
a way which never threatens their serene
beauty. In the Dido songs, it is the text which
deals with inganno – the guile and deceit of
Aeneas which provokes the abandoned queen
to pour out her grief and anger.
Jennie Cassidy, soprano; David Hatcher,
Alison Kinder, Philip Thorby, viols;
with Asako Morikawa, Claire Horacek,
Ibi Aziz viols; Lynda Sayce, lute and viol
to everyone who helped with our crowdfunding! Join the mailing list to keep up with the progress.
(Florio’s Dictionary, 1589)
Words and music from C16th Venice,
where nothing is what it seems...