Modo Antiquo

The Archipoet

See on youtube: Licet eger cum egrotis live, 2011

World Premiere

Estuans intrinsecus, or the Confessio Goliae by the Archipoeta, written in Pavia in 1163, was and is one of the most famous secular poems of the Middle Ages. Proof of this lies in the many imitators and forgers who took the Confessio Goliae as their formal and ideal model, and the 37 manuscripts through which it has come down to us. Today, it is the poem that most emblematically has shaped our collective image of the goliards as exactly that, goliardic, scoffing, sharp-tongued and pleasure seeing, serf to no one except Bacchus and Venus. The Archipoeta himself, who scoffs heartily at those solitary poets who chastise themselves in the hope of writing immortal works, has succeeded, with a light touch and a belly full of good food and wine, in sending us a message that has travelled over 800 years of history.
But the sources hand down the ode in mutilated form: neither in the Carmina Burana manuscript that contains all of its 25 verses, nor in the other shorter sources is its melody ever transcribed, a fate that was quite common at the time: despite the intense research work that has been performed it has so far been impossible to reconstruct the melodies for more than a fifth of Carmina Burana, most of it remains mute written text.
Thanks to the collaboration between Modo Antiquo and the Department of Medieval Latin of the University of Cologne it has now been possible to trace the Archipoeta’s melody. The starting point for this reconstruction is a contemporary anonymous poem, that in peripheral source we find preceded, for no obvious logical reason, by the first verses of the Confessio. These are the so called Ansingestrophen, a rather common way of indicating that metre and music are identical; we could translate as “With the melody of…” And luck would have it that in a third, slightly later source, we have come across this poem complete with melody, written furthermore in a notation that is still decipherable and playable to this day: the link between the Archipoeta’s words and his music is – finally – complete and secure.
The concert in which Modo Antiquo will present the Confessio Goliae to the public for the first time, will place it in its natural artistic and cultural context. It will unite the poets that shared their study, profession, vocation, fate, commissions, way of life but especially a shared mentality and art with the Archipoeta. There won’t just be the songs of the more famous Petrus of Blois, Walter of Châtillon, Philip the Chancellor, but also anonymous works by the most important sources of the goliards’ lyrics, such as the Florentine manuscript Pluteo 29.l., the Carmina Burana and the less performed Herdringer Carmina.


ANONIMO La Prime Estampie Royal
PETRUS DI BLOIS Vite perdite me legi
WALTER DI CHÂTILLON Licet eger cum egrotis
ANONIMO La Tierche Estampie Roial
ANONIMO Dulce solum
ANONIMO Passionis emuli
L’ARCHIPOETA Estuans intrinsecus (Confessio Goliae)

ANONIMO (Carmina di Herdringen) Invectio contra prelatos
ANONIMO La Quinte Estampie Real
ANONIMO Mundi princeps eicitur
ANONIMO La Quarte Estampie Royal
ANONIMO O varium fortune lubricum
ANONIMO La Septime Estampie Real
ANONIMO Alte clamat Epicurus


FEDERICO MARIA SARDELLI, recorder, transverse flute, shawm
BETTINA HOFFMANN, fiddle, rebec
DANIELE POLI, lute, dulcimer, symphonia, tambourine

Next concerts:
14/5/2011, Cagliari, Festival Echi Lontani
18/8/2011, Tagliacozzo
3/9/2011, Erice

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