Modo Antiquo

God will it!

  • Seignor sachiez

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Modo Antiquo

PAOLO FANCIULLACCI, voice, bagpipe, oliphant
FEDERICO MARIA SARDELLI,  recorder, transverse flute, shawm
UGO GALASSO, recorder, shawm, pipe and tabor, drum
PIERO CALLEGARI, slide trumpet, oliphant
BETTINA HOFFMANN, fiddle, rebec
DANIELE POLI, harp, lute, dulcimer, symphonia, tambourine

The influence that the ideal of the crusades had on Medieval man was lasting and telling. This we can surmise from the documents of the time as well as from our own collective historic recollections, and there is plenty of evidence also in many poetical/musical compositions. After the theme of love, perhaps the crusades, in all their various aspects, are the favourite theme of court poets: they range from heroic tales, often based on first hand experience seeing as they may have been written by a miles Christi in the flesh (but not for this reason less fantastic), to the farewell songs sung by departing crusader or the lamentations of the woman awaiting the return of her lover from overseas.
Other contexts also show evidence of the crusade ideal: among church materials there are many pilgrim songs and resposories directly connected to the history of the crusades; as well as sacred melodies that exalt the Holy War, conducti that report the “official” version of the appellatio, with texts full of learned quotations – often scarcely comprehensible. Elsewhere the issue gets even more intriguing: in certain so called Vagantenlieder for example, or in the Roman de Fauvel, the decadence of men leaving the holy sepulchre in the hands of the infidel is condemned, but the attacks are also brought against the false instigators of the crusades, who exploit them in order to collect additional taxes from the peasants; and there is also condemnation or defence of the unbounded riches of the templar friars. Another aspect that must also be taken into consideration if one intends to thoroughly plumb the Crusade era through Medieval music is the influence of the enemy, the paganor orgoillau, a figure that the crusader was bound to meet and couldn’t help admiring. No cultural context has carried so much influence on western music as the Arab world: and a positive proof of this is the development of our musical instruments that often faithfully imitate the appearance and the name of their Arab forefathers, such as the tamburo (drum), the rebec, the lute.
On the one hand therefore appeals in favour of a new spiritual force, towards the unity of all Christians that discover their European roots when they happen to come face to face with the “other”, and refined propaganda for the Christian cause, on the other an appropriation of the novelties that the “evil pagan” afforded: the relationship between the crusaders and their music is interesting and full of contrasts.
The Modo Antiquo program offers comparisons between these two extremes: next to the Palästinalied by Walther von der Vogelweide and the chansons of the troubadors and trouveurs, that sing the feats of the crusaders and call for new wars, we come across secular dances and songs with their rich instrumentation and stirring rhythms, that bring to the fore the Arab influence: historical events become music.


The Modo Antiquo concert covers an ideal Crusade itinerary: beginning with the appellation, the hermit preachings and those of other vagrant preachers, marked by the phenomenon of the epistolae excitatoriae, that tell of the farewell to the country and the loved one, then the toils of the voyage, the sieges, the battles, until the terrestrial and celestial Jerusalem is reached.


anonym, XII cent., Crucifigat omnes
Thibaut de Champagne, crusade of 1239, Seignor, sachiez
anonym, XII cent., Chevalier mult estez guariz
anonym, french, XIII cent., La seconde estampie royal
anonym, end of XI cent., Parti de mal
Thibaut de Champagne, crusade of 1239, Au tems plein de felonie


Châtelain de Concy, crusade of 1188-91, Li nouviaus tems
anonym, french, XIII cent., La quarte estampie royal
Conon de Bethune, Bien me deüsse targier
Chardon de Croisilles de Reims, Li departirs de la douce contree
anonym, french, XIII cent., La septime estampie real


Guiot de Dijon, crusade of 1189, Chanterai pour mon courage
Congregati sunt, responsorium
anonym, XIII cent., Nus ne porroit de mauvese reson
Walther von der Vogelweide, Palästinaton
Richard the Lion Heart, from his place of detention in 1194, Ja nus hons pris


anonym, french, XIII cent., La quinte estampie real
anonym, end of XI cent., Jerusalem mirabilis
anonym, french, XIII cent., Nota
Walther von der Vogelweide, crusade of 1228, Nû alrêst lebe ich
anonym, Nomen a solemnibus

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