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Popular Songs of Renaissance Italy

Frottole: Popular Songs of Renaissance Italy


Label: Naxos | Year: 2015


Recorded: Genova, Chiesa di S. Lorenzo di Premanico in October, 2013

Performers: Ring Around Quartet

Vera Marenco (soprano), Manuela Litro (alto), 

Umberto Bartolini (tenor), Alberto Longhi (baryton)  

& Consort:

Atsufumi Ujiie (flutes, flauto e tamburo, percussioni,

Giuliano Lucini  (liuto), Aimone Gronchi (viola d'arco)

Marcello Serafini (chitarra rinascimentale, viola da gamba tenore), Maria Notarianni  (basso di viola)




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Italian polyphony for voices and instruments. The pieces are taken from the collections of Frottole by Petrucci published in Venice during the first years of the XVI century. For four voices, two or three viola da gamba, flute, lute, percussions, Renaissance guitar (9 performers). Presented at “I concerti del Quirinale” in November 2012. 

La vida de Culin


L’amor, donna, ch’io te porto

Jacopo da Fogliano (1468-1548)

Vecchie letrose

Adrian Willaert (1490-1562)

Che faralla, che diralla

Michele Pesenti (c. 1600-1948, attr.)

Occhi miei, al pianger nati


Poi che volse la mia stella

Joan Antonio Dalza (? - after 1508)

L’ultimo dì di maggio

Sebastiano Festa (1490 -1524)

Zephiro spira e ‘l bel tempo rimena

Bartolomeo Tromboncino (1470-1535)


Alle stamegne, donne


Su, su, leva, alza le ciglia (*)

Bartolomeo Tromboncino (1470-1535)

Ahimè sospiri


Per dolor me bagno el viso (*)

Marchetto Cara (1470-1525)

Ricercar ottavo

Vincenzo Capirola (1474 - after 1548)

Un cavalier di Spagna

Francesco Patavino (1478-1556)

Virgine bella

Bartolomeo Tromboncino (1470-1535)

Non è tempo d’aspettare

Marchetto Cara 

D’un bel matin d’amore

Giovan Battista Zesso (XV-XVI century)

Lirum bililirum 

Rossino Mantovano (fl.1505 - 1511)


(*) arranged by Vera Marenco




Judith Malafronte
Opera News by Metropolitan NY, August 2015


Ring Around Quartet and Consort showcases each of its members in imaginative readings, including a few versions for solo lute. Even in ensembles the voices retain individuality, blending gently for the sorrowful “Occhi miei, al pianger nati” and energetically intoning the “Tandaridondella” refrain of Sebastiano Festa’s “L’ultimo dì di Maggio.”

Tenor Umberto Bartolini is an engaging performer with an attractive, easy sound, and his drunken opening to Zesso’s “D’un bel matin d’amore” is amusing without exaggeration. Vai all'articolo originale



David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2015


As the world headed towards the 16th century, a new era of music, that we now describe as coming from the Renaissance courts of Italy, became fashionable. It was so totally different to the religious vocal music that had held sway a century before, to the point that today it still sounds lightweight and usually joyful of character, Frotolle becoming its generic name. We had also moved to a time when a group of instruments would be used, compared to the unaccompanied sacred works or songs from strolling players. Yet the basis of much that was written, even by the ‘serious’ composers of the time, was based on folk music that had existed before, and often passed down from anonymous sources. The present disc of Frottole covers the music that was to emerge at this time and gathered together by the Venetian publisher, Ottaviano Petrucci, in a number of books, the first one containing 64 works that would be suitable for various voices and accompanying instruments. From his publications the Italian-based Ring Around Quartet and Consort have selected eighteen pieces of very differing character, including Tromboncino’s Su, su, leva, alza le ciglia, a more recently revived ‘hit’ song. But whether comic or sad, the music is highly pleasurable, and performed with verve and impeccable intonation whether as instrumentalist or as singers, the haunting quality of Vera Marenco’s soprano voice and clarity of Giuliano Lucini’s lute playing being particularly notable. Outstanding sound and strongly recommended.



Janelle Davis

Harmonia Early Music, May 2015


"If you had a car in 15th-century Italy, and if that car had FM radio and if you tuned in to the top 40 on your morning commute to your guild job in downtown Mantua, the greatest hits you might hum along with would probably be a type of song called a frottola." Vai all'articolo originale



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