On the Identity of Some Musicians At The Brescian Court of Pandolfo III Malatesta

Atlas, Allan

Although the Brescian court of Pandolfo III Malatesta was relatively short-lived and generally plagued by political difficulties, and though Brescia at the beginning of the 15th century was as short on an artistic heritage of the first rank as the Malatesta were on the resources to foster such a tradition, the signoria over which Pandolfo III presided in that Lombard city from 1404 to 1421 enjoyed a surprisingly distinguished cultural life, especially in the field of music.Himself a man of letters who commanded Latin, French, and Provençal, Pandolfo took a first-hand interest in the literary life of his court,mainly through his support of music that Sigismondo Pandolfo played perhaps his most significant role as a patron of the arts.To sum up, the Brescian court of Pandolfo III Malatesta must be accorded a place among the important musical centers of the early Quattrocento. Likewise, Pandolfo III, himself musically inclined, must be recognized as a music patron of major significance. During the seventeen years in which Pandolfo ruled Brescia, more than forty musicians, singers and instrumentalists are logged in the court's account books. And if my speculations are correct, four of them in particular had reputations that already or eventually extended well beyond the rooms of the Broletto.



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Columbia University
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April 7, 2015