"Venite a laudare"
Passionate processional chants of Middle-Italy
They called themselves "Disciplinati di Gesù Cristo", "Confraternita di Santa Maria delle Laudi" or "Compagnia di Sancto Spirito", they roamed through the streets of Toscany and Umbria chanting their songs of praise to god, the holy virgin and all the saints. Saint Francis´ message had reached the hearts of the mostly simple people and so they started gathering in confraternities, the so called laudesi.
The Italian melody, deriving from the tradition of Gregorean chant and folk-song approaches its maximal expression in the lauda. During the Middle Ages it was common to put religious lyrics into secular music and viceversa. The church as the client was trying to spread the religious contents, and the more popular melodies where used the better the message was passed on. A lauda had to arouse the minds of the simple people immediately.
The songs where collected in song books called "Laudari", only two of them contain lyrics and music: the Codex 91 of the Etruscan Academy of Cortona and the Codex Magliabechiano BR 18 of the National Library of Florence.
An outstanding portrait of the amazing music of the "Laudesi - brotherhoods".
[2 singers, 5 instrumentalists / reduced version: 1 singer, 4 instrumentalists]