L'alma mia piange : Work information

Francesco Landini ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
John Grubb (Harp), Derek Harrison (Counter-tenor), Michael Oxenham (Recorder), John Sothcott (Vielle), St. George's Canzona, John Sothcott (Conductor)

This work

Work name
L'alma mia piange
Work number

This recording

Simon Lawman
Bob Auger
Recording date
1982-05-08 00:00:00

Track listing

  • 3:23 min


Most of the instruments played on this recording, although mainly used in ensemble here, are self-sufficient in solo performance, each providing its own drone or ostinato accompaniment.

The bowed vielles and plucked citoles are closely modelled on contemporary paintings and sculptures. They are played according to instructions in 13th and 14th century treatises. Both types are tuned so that strings not being stopped by the left hand, act as drones.

The English bagpipe has a single drone and chanter and the bag is inflated by the mouth. The pipe and tabor is played in the continuing tradition of Morris dancing. The left hand plays the pipe while the tabor, which is suspended from the left arm, is beaten by a stick held in the right hand.

The percussion instruments are also based on representations in medieval art. The nakers are a tuned pair of kettledrums hung from the players waist.

The Composers

Francesco Landini

The favorite instrument of Francesco Landini was the portative organ, or organetto: in his childhood, he apparently contracted and survived smallpox, but the disease left him blind for the rest of his life.

He was well-versed in the playing of several instruments, but his favourite instrument was organ.

His playing, poetry and music (of which 150 works remain) were admired by Petrarch and by Peter the Great, King of Cyprus.