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In 1513, Giovanni di Lorenzo di Piero de’ Medici (1475-1521) – son of the mythic Lorenzo il Magnifico – was elected Pope Leo X. Giovanni had inherited his family’s refined interest in, and zealous support of, the arts: literature; painting, sculpture, architecture, and music. But of all of these, Giovanni – perhaps due in part to his poor eyesight – favored music, for which his passion was legendary among contemporaries. The musical life of Leo’s court was unimaginably rich and vibrant, as innumerable eyewitness accounts confirm. This recording aims to bring that world acoustically to life and illustrate the range of practices typifying Leo’s own musical experiences. It is a tribute to a rare and extraordinary patron of music – himself a composer and musician –, who occupied that singular position at the very summit of the universal ecclesiastical hierarchy.

Diapason Or award JOKER CRESCENDO (plus récent) award