The Early Music Podcast: Guillaume Dufay

The Early Music Podcast: Guillaume Dufay
Why do you care so much about what sort of keyboard Johan Sebastian Bach used to play on?

The phrase “Historically informed practice” relates to music performances of today that relies on historical evidence of the way a given piece was performed in the past. Artists going in that direction are soon facing one big challenge: what did their instrument look like in the past? They can look for all sorts of clues on how they were built, how they were played, how they sounded. But the earlier you look, the fewer clues you find…

In this episode, the early keyboards specialist Catalina Vicens, curator of the Tagliavini Collection of ancient instruments in Bologna, takes us on a quest for the textual or figurative sources that researchers and musicians use for the medieval and Renaissance periods. She mentions the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (1432, Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent) by the Van Eyck brothers: a huge painted altarpiece, depicting dozens of characters, including a very realistic choir of angels with a small organ, a harp and a viol… What a convenient source for musicologists!

guest Catalina Vicens, musician specialising in historical keyboard instruments

interview & editing Andrew Burn
production REMA
credits music 
Platée, Act 1, Orage - Jean-Philippe Rameau
performed by Les Talens Lyriques, dir. Christophe Rousset
Camera Lucida 2014
All rights reserved - Courtesy of Les Talens Lyriques
design Doretta Rinaldi
original drawings Vincent Flückiger

cover score Folio, L'homme armé in the Mellon Chansonnier, around 1470 (Yale University Library, Beinecke MS 91)

Procurans Odium, Presul Nostri Temporis, Organum & Honte, Paour, Doubtance
performed by Catalina Vicens
Organic Creatures, Consouling Sounds 2020

Belle, bonne, sage, plaisante et gente - Baude Cordier
performed by Ensemble Servir Antico, Catalina Vicens
The City of Ladies, 2021

Concerto No. 7 in G Minor, BWV 1058: III. Allegro assai - Johann Sebastian Bach
performed by Evgeni Koroliov, Kammerakademie Potsdam
Concertos for piano, Alpha Classics 2019

Actus Tragicus - Sonatina
Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit in E-Flat Major, BWV 106 - Johann Sebastian Bach
performed by Lionel Meunier, Vox Luminis
Actus Tragicus, Alpha Classics 2016

Ave regina celorum - Gilles Binchois
performed by La Reverdie
Lux Laetitiae, Arcana 2022

Lasse ! Comment - Se j'aim - Pour quoi me bat mes maris ?-  Guillaume Dufay
performed by Crawford YoungFerrara Ensemble
Merci ou Mort, Arcana 2001

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