Music for Machiavelli

Florence Circa 1500

This concert has ended.
September 27 – 29, 2019
St. Mark's on Capitol Hill

Perhaps best known as the author of The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli walked the streets of Florence 500 years ago. He was a true Renaissance man–a philosopher, playwright, diplomat, and a poet. Along with the carnival songs Machiavelli wrote for the Medici family and music for his comedic stage play The Mandrake, Folger Consort performs works by Francesco Bendusi, Josquin des Prez, Heinrich Isaac, and native composers of Northern Italy. With instrumentalists Larry Lipnik, Dan Meyers, Mark Rimple, and Mary Springfels, and soprano Emily Noël.

Join us on September 25 at 6pm for a talk and pop-up exhibition featuring rare materials from the Folger vaults related to the performance.

The following playlist offers a preview of some of the music on the program. Folger Consort arrangements heard in concert will vary from these recordings.


Musical settings from Machiavelli’s La Mandragola (The Mandrake) by Philippe Verdelot: Chi non fa prova, Amore ; O dolce notte

Anonymous Florentine works from around the year 1500: Venus, Juno, Pallas ; Canto de’ diavoli (text by Machiavelli)

Works by Heinrich Isaac: Canto delle dèe (Nè pìu bella di queste) ; Quis dabit capiti meo quam? ; Sancte Petre - Ora pro nobis ; Palle, palle ; Alla battaglia

Works by Alexander Agricola: Pater meus Agricola est ; Comme femme

A selection of music from the earliest Italian collection of ensemble dances, Francesco Bendusi’s Opera nova de balli, printed in 1533.

Individual arrangements of the popular Florentine tune, Fortuna desperata, by Alexander Agricola, Heinrich Isaac, Johannes Martini, and Josquin des Pres

Other works from Renaissance Florence: Canto d’amanti disperati e di dame by Niccolò Machiavelli; Meyor d’este jon ày by Bartolomeo degli Organi; Canzona de’ naviganti (“Contrar’i venti”) by Alessandro Coppini; Iesù, sommo conforto (text by Girolamo Savonarola) by Paolo Scoto; In te, Domine, speravi by Josquin des Pres