News & Events

December 2017

Conclusion of the Project, start of a new phase

The Motet Cycles Project ended in December 2017. The Motet Cycles Database is now published, and a new phase starts under the name Polifonia Sforzesca / Sforza Polyphony: The Motet Cycles in the Milanese Libroni between Liturgy, Devotion, and Ducal Patronage (2018-2020). For news and information, please visit our new website!

October 2017

Presenting at the 14th international conference on music theory and music analysis (GATM Rimini 2017)

Daniele Filippi presented, on behalf of the Motet Cycle Research Team, during the conference organised in Rimini on 28 September–1 October 2017 by the Gruppo di Analisi e Teoria Musicale (GATM). His talk, titled ‘Analisi, contesto, performance: riflessioni dal cantiere del progetto “Motet cycles (c.1470-c.1510)”’ was part of a round table on composition and improvisation in fifteenth-century music, convened by Massimiliano Locanto and chaired by Julie Cumming and Jesse Rodin.

September 2017

The Motet Cycles Database is now in beta!

The Beta version of the Motet Cycles Database has been published. During the next weeks it will be tested by a group of scholars and collaborators. By the end of 2017 it will be officially published and made available to the public in open access.

May-June 2017

A new video: “Performing Motet Cycles”

Check our new video, which showcases the fruitful combination of musicological research and performance experiments happening in our project and made possible by the unique environment of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.

May 18, 2017

A workshop at the Schola Cantorum Basilensis:
“Ternary sections in the Motetti missales: issues of tempo, accent, and text underlay for the performer and for the musicologist”

Agnese Pavanello introduced the workshop by illustrating the role of ternary sections in the repertory of motetti missales, and their interaction with textual and formal parameters. Daniele Filippi discussed the case of the cycle Ave domine Iesu Christe, whereas Felix Diergarten analysed the role of ternary meter in the cycles copied in the Leopold Codex (D-Mbs Mus. MS 3154).
Subsequently, students and singers, lead in turn by Ozan Karagöz and by Dominique Vellard, experimented in performance with issues of tempo relationships and text underlay. Among the discussants were Federico Sepúlveda, Véronique Daniels, and Kelly Landerkin.

February 22, 2017

A lecture for the International winter school “editing, analysing and performing small-scale motets” at the archive of the Veneranda fabbrica del duomo

Daniele Filippi delivered a lecture on “Gaffurio, the Libroni, and the motet in early modern Milan” to an international group of graduate and PhD students during a special event of the University of Padua Winter School (Milan, 20-24 February 2017). The event, organized by Marina Toffetti, included a visit to the historical archive of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano and the examination of the Libroni and other rare books and documents. with archivists Maddalena Peschiera and Roberto Fighetti.

December 14, 2016

A workshop at the Schola cantorum basiliensis:

Agnese Pavanello introduced the workshop touching upon such problems as the size of the ensembles performing vocal polyphony in Sforza Milan, the possible use of wind instruments, and the special importance of the Elevation as a climactic moment in the Mass. Felix Diergarten gathered together and presented the available evidence about the use of pre-existing materials in the motetti missales repertory. Daniele Filippi focused on Compère’s [MissaGaleazescha and explored its peculiar compositional design. There followed a fruitful discussion with colleagues, performers, and students on the interaction between these historical and analytical data and performance practice. The final event of the workshop took place in the beautiful Leonhardskirche, where a group of singers, led by Ozan Karagöz and Federico Sepúlveda, worked on Compère’s motet ad elevationem from the Galeazescha cycle.

October 14, 2016

A study-day in Milan:
“Codici per cantare: I Libroni del Duomo nella Milano sforzesca”

In cooperation with Dr Davide DAOLMI (Università degli Studi di Milano), with the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano and with Associazione NOEMA (Milan).

Click here to see the dedicated page.

Photos courtesy of Davide Stefani (1,2), Giuditta Comerci (3, 16), and Randall Cook (6,7). Photos (8-15) and video © Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano.

April 8-9, 2016

A conference at the Schola Cantorum Basilensis: 
“Motet cycles between devotion and liturgy”

Click here to see the dedicated page.

The conference concert was broadcast by Radio SRF 2 on December 6, 2016.

July 6, 2015

A session at the MED-REN music conference in Brussels

Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference (Brussels, 6-9 July, 2015).

In this session we discussed some of our research questions and shared preliminary findings, showcasing the different and complementary methods which characterize our way of proceeding. After a brief introduction by the project leader, Agnese Pavanello, the first paper (Filippi) reassessed the concept of motetti missales starting from a basic but far-reaching question: what did it mean to “hear the Mass” in the early modern era? The second paper (Verstraete) explored the nature and function of motet cycles by mapping their texts in terms of form, provenience, and contemporary reception. In a progressive narrowing down of the focus, the third and fourth paper examined a special subgenre often present in the cycles, that of Elevation motets, analyzing their texts and liturgical connections (Pavanello) as well as their distinctive compositional features (Diergarten).

Daniele V. Filippi: “Audire Missam non est verba missae intelligere…”, or: What Did the Duke Do During the Mass?

Marie Verstraete: A Textual Phenomenology of Motet Cycles

Agnese Pavanello: Elevation as Liturgical Climax in Gesture and Sound: Milanese Elevation Motets in Context

Felix Diergarten: What Happens When “Nothing” Happens? An Analytical Look at Late Fifteenth-Century Elevation Motets

click here to read the abstracts

March 20, 2015

A workshop at the Schola Cantorum Basilensis

October 21, 2014

Presentation of the project at the Schola Cantorum Basilensis

Agnese Pavanello

Daniele V. Filippi
Sforzando. Cycles of Power and Cycles of Motets
in Renaissance Italy

Marie Verstraete
E pluribus unum. From Motet to Database

Felix Diergarten
Compositional Design in late 15th-century Motet Cycles

Gaspar van Weerbeke
Motets from the cycle Ave mundi Domina
    [Loco Introitus] Ave mundi Domina
    [Loco Gloria] Ave mater gloriosa
    [Loco Sanctus] Ave regina cælorum
    [Post elevationem] Quem terra, pontus, æthera

Dominique Vellard, conductor

Perrine Devillers, treble; Grace Newcombe, treble
Yukie Sato, treble; Florencia Menconi, alto
Roman Melish, alto; Ozan Karagöz, tenor
Giacomo Schiavo, tenor; Valerio Zanolli, bass
Randall Cook, viola da gamba; Tabea Schwartz, viola da gamba