La réforme musicale à la Santissima Annunziata de Florence (1478-1485) et la politique religieuse de Lorenzo de’ Medici
The edition and complete analysis of maestro Antonio Alabanti’s Memoriale – who was Prior of the Santissima Annunziata in Florence between November 1477 and June 1485 – has revealed the record of his general reform of the convent (rule, architecture, economy, liturgy, music), on the eve of the presentation of his accounts in May 1484. The prior’s particular financial capacities enabled him to prepare a budget of ‘ordinary spendings’ (spese ordinarie), where music was the second most important item. On this basis, and by using information found in the payment receipts (ricevute), we can see the establishment of a permanent body of ten external singers (forastieri), together with a group of convent friars paid for the office of singing. The role of Lorenzo de’ Medici is also considered. He designated his personal singer, Arnolfo da Francia, alias Arnoul Gréban, for this musical reform. The general reform of the convent is interpreted within a body of reforms taking place at the same time in other religious houses in Florence, where Lorenzo was intervening not only as operaio or provedditore of an Arte, the civic body controlling these religious houses, but also as the administrator of the Church of Florence, in place of the archbishop Raynaldo Orsini, who had delivered him a blank cheque to act in his name.
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