Although compiled in the first decade of the sixteenth century, the MS Panciatichi 27 is the first source that contains polyphonic settings of the Requiem almost certainly by an Italian composer. And, apart from Dufay’s lost Requiem mentioned in his will and the analogous mass by Ockeghem composed in the late fifteenth century, the polyphonic pieces in Panciatichi 27 (6/7 sections of the Requiem, including no fewer than three Dies irae sequences) are among the oldest manuscript witnesses that have come down to us. The anonymity that shrouds these pieces is unusual, considering that all the other known Requiem settings are by Franco-Flemish composers. How is it that such a compositorial ‘debut’ by an Italian composer or composers occurs in a MS such as Panciatichi 27, a source that also contains secular music? The answer may lie in the book itself, the product of a mercantile and civic mentality that seeks to appropriate for itself the musical culture that was hitherto a prerogative of the elite; the Requiem Mass thus undergoes a sort of ‘democratization’ that permits its flourishing even on behalf of the citizens of the middle and lower classes.

Democratizing the Requiem: Mercantile mentality and the fear of death in Italy

FILOCAMO, GIOIA
2009

Abstract

Although compiled in the first decade of the sixteenth century, the MS Panciatichi 27 is the first source that contains polyphonic settings of the Requiem almost certainly by an Italian composer. And, apart from Dufay’s lost Requiem mentioned in his will and the analogous mass by Ockeghem composed in the late fifteenth century, the polyphonic pieces in Panciatichi 27 (6/7 sections of the Requiem, including no fewer than three Dies irae sequences) are among the oldest manuscript witnesses that have come down to us. The anonymity that shrouds these pieces is unusual, considering that all the other known Requiem settings are by Franco-Flemish composers. How is it that such a compositorial ‘debut’ by an Italian composer or composers occurs in a MS such as Panciatichi 27, a source that also contains secular music? The answer may lie in the book itself, the product of a mercantile and civic mentality that seeks to appropriate for itself the musical culture that was hitherto a prerogative of the elite; the Requiem Mass thus undergoes a sort of ‘democratization’ that permits its flourishing even on behalf of the citizens of the middle and lower classes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/106030
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