Format: 33 x 45 centimeters Pages: 272 Paper: 220 grams, specifically created at the Cartiere Miliani Fabriano with a particular composition enriched with vegetable fibers that reproduces the characteristics of antique paper. This process guarantees that the work will last for centuries. Binding: entirely sewn by hand and bound in leather with embossments and gold leaf insignias. Case: wooden sleeve with walnut finishings, leather trimmings, and embossments. Iconography: 244 illustrative plates of which 55 are in color.
Since the dawning of modern musicology, the music books of the Papal court have been the subject of study and research devoted to increasing the appreciation of music. Art historians have typically devoted much attention to a few particularly important codices. However, until now there has not been a complex study which takes into consideration the entire figurative patrimony, including that which is most pertinent to the history of manuscript decoration rather than that specific to the miniature. "Codices Cantorum" therefore offers itself as the first study that compiles an entire series of illuminated manuscripts used for centuries by Popes for the Sistine Chapel during solemn liturgical celebrations. The codices, as well as the related illuminated manuscripts, have been reproduced in this volume from their original, large format: the width of the page allowed for the reading of the notes from one codex, open on the music stand, by all the members of the choir. The reproduction has faithfully maintained the original dimensions. The miniatures which accompany the text are particularly interesting, and are published in this volume for the first time ever. Special care has been given to the reproduction of the original colors. This volume deals with the initial letters and designs which are often of religious subject, but which are also (especially the more antique codices) of allegorical or classical subject, in accordance with Renaissance style. The codices were used by the Papal choristers during the most important ceremonies in the presence of the Pope and cardinals in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, Cappella Paolina al Quirinale, and in Saint Peter’s Basilica. The Papal court and the Vatican’s music chapel commissioned and received magnificent codices of which the contents and external form could have only been in tune with the sumptuous and splendid displays and liturgical ceremonies of Papal Rome. Extreme quality and exclusivity of musical works composed by the most famous vocalist-composers, and creations reproduced by illustrious calligraphers and decorated with historical scenes in dignified forms. Research was conducted on all of the images relevant to the illuminated manuscripts from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century found in the Archivi di Stato di Roma and in the Segreto Vaticano. All of the codices have been analyzed in great detail from a historical-exegetic point of view by Emilia Talamo, a researcher who has dedicated many years to the research and analysis of the manuscripts. In addition, this volume contains an essay by Giancarlo Rostirolla in which the texts are analyzed in a musicological and historical context.
Emilia Talamo, professor of History of Drawing and Graphics a the University of Cosenza, and collaborator for the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia Institute and member of the Società di Storia della Miniatura. Giancarlo Rostirolla, noted musicologist and artistic director for the Fondazione Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.
The volume is edited in collaboration with the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and Don Raffaele Farina, who guarantees the high cultural content and prestige of this work.