1. Io Son Sí Vaga Della Mia Bellezza (04:29)
2. Qual Donna Canterá (07:38)
3. Niuna Sconsolata (08:26)
4. Regina Pretiosa (02:27)
5. Lagrimando Dimostro (06:13)
6. Amor, La Vaga Luce (05:51)
7. Amor, S’io Posso Uscir De’ Tuoi Artigli (12:47)
8. Love’s Claw (03:43)
9. Deh, Lassa La Mia Vita (07:30)
10. Tanto è, Amore, Il Bene (09:19)
11. Io Mi Son Giovinetta (04:29)
12. S’amor Venisse Senze Gelosia (08:36)
13. Irae Dance (02:19)
Caitríona O’Leary – Voice, Director
Nick Roth – Soprano & Tenor Saxophones, Bendir, Saxophonics
Deirdre O’Leary – Bass & Bb Clarinets
Barry O’Halpin – Electric Guitar, Guitarrón
Andrea Piccioni – Tamburello, Tamburo Muto, Marranzano, Kanjira, Castagnette, Live Electronics
The songs from Giovanni Boccaccio’s 14th century masterpiece, The Decameron are revivified through bold new interpretations as conceived by Caitríona O’Leary.
Citadel of Song sings the enduring and complex story of romance against the backdrop of imperiled humanity. As the Black Death ravages Florence, 10 young aristocrats (and their servants) leave the city and go into the countryside to build a fortress of songs, stories and dances that will protect them from pandemic-induced soul-destroying fear and creeping dispassion. This is the frame story of Boccaccio’s Decameron, the iconic masterpiece of Western literature written during & relating to the plague that swept through Asia, North Africa and Europe between 1347 and 1351.
The 7 women and 3 men who flee Florence spend ten days feasting, conversing and telling stories. At the end of each day, when 10 stories have been told by each of the 10 storytellers, one of them sings a song. The lyrics to the songs by Boccaccio are given, the music is left to the imagination of the reader. Anakronos’ director Caitríona O’Leary, an internationally acclaimed singer, known for her work in Early Music, Traditional Irish music and Folk, has reconstructed the songs, setting Boccaccio’s lyric poetry to music of the Italian Ars Nova, or Trecento, a forward-looking style from 14th century Northern Italy. And, as all the texts are in the ballata form (a popular song form similar to the French virelai), has scoured the sources of extant Trecento ballate, notably the Squarcialupi Codex and Rossi Codex, to find music that could be reimagined to Boccaccio’s words. True to its name, Anakronos has taken these songs from 700 years ago and fused them with sounds and moods of today.
Caitríona O’Leary states, “I plunged into the surviving codices looking for ballate that most closely matched the syllable count of Boccaccio’s poetry; and, after carefully following the underlay of the original borrowed songs (exquisitely florid phrases, funkily syncopated hockets, rest-broken words and all), took them to my bandmates for us to use as the starting point in our journey to somewhere else entirely.”
Citadel of Song was funded by a Music Project Award from the Arts Council of Ireland.