| Cortona |
Laudario di Cortona
The Laudario of
Cortona is a collection of sixty-six 13th century religious songs, discovered
in the archives of the Museum of the Etruscan Academy in 1876.
some 200 such ‘song books’ have come down to us, only 2 (the Magliabechiano
Codex in the Italian National Library in Florence, and the Laudario
di Cortona - Codex 91 of the Etruscan Academy) contain both the text
and the music.
‘Laude’ or Lauds are songs of praise to the Virgin, to the Saints, or to Christ’s
life. They were written in the
vulgar tongue (here, in Italian rather than in the Latin used by the
Church) by lay communities in the 12th and 13th centuries in reaction
against the official church. St. Francis of Assisi played
a part in the success of this popular movement: his Canticle of all Creatures is a hymn of
praise written in Italian.
is hardly surprising that the Laudario was found in Cortona given the
city’s importance in the history of the Franciscan movement.
St. Francis of Assisi stayed frequently at Le Celle monastery
and dictated his will there. Brother
Elias, the first Vicar General of the order and one of the principal
diplomats of the period, is closely linked with Cortona and was responsible
for the building of the large San Francesco church.
Saint Margaret, the third great name of Franciscanism after Saints
Francis and Clare (founder of the ‘Poor Clares’), is the patron saint
of Cortona and is thought to be the inspiration for the Laudario.
The Lauds are sung at least twice a year in
the life of Cortona: on Good
Friday during the procession of the stations of the cross through the
city and during the Santa Margarita festival in May.
CD can be purchased at the Museum of the Etruscan Academy (short version
or complete version with 3 CDs and CDRom).
to an excerpt