Echoes from late medieval Cracow
Ramée RAM 2008
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In a fascinating programme note, La Morra’s director Michal Gondko draws attention to an account of around 1470 by Filippo Buonaccorsi (aka Callimachus) of music in Cracow, at that time the capital of Poland, as well as the two seminal manuscripts from which the music on this CD is extracted. The major discovery is the composer Mikołaj Radomski (fl c1425), who contributes an impressive polyphonic Gloria and a Magnificat, and who may also be ‘Nicolaus’, the composer of keyboard pieces and whose Nitor inclite is performed here. Also impressive is music by Petrus Wilhelmi de Grudenz, given a stunning performance, as well a strikingly original Gloria by Antonio Zacara da Teramo. The singing and playing of La Morra is of a very high order throughout, and they give very persuasive performances of this unusual repertoire. It can scarcely come as a surprise that an important kingdom such as Poland would at this time have boasted a thriving musical culture, but it is exciting to have this confirmed in these excellent performances of superb music from the period, which was either composed in Cracow or certainly performed in it.
D. James Ross