The Italian Queen Of France / Toronto Consort

Album cover art for upc 774718148124
Catalog: MQSCD81481
Format: CD

The Toronto Consort

The Toronto Consort presents The Italian Queen of France, a program inspired by Catherine de Medici -the most powerful and controversial woman in Europe during the 16th century. Encounter the power of early music like you've never heard before with music. As a true daughter of the Italian Renaissance, Catherine believed fervently in the power of art to glorify and decorate a powerful court. She made sure she was surrounded by the best musicians, dancers, painters, architects and poets, to bedazzle enemies and friends alike. Backroom deals, blackmail, and espionage might sound like the qualities of a modern day TV drama, but in the court of 16th-century's Catherine de Medici it was just a day in the life! A woman of unmatched political savvy, Henry II's Italian-born queen held significant sway over France for many tumultuous decades. Renowned for her love of all things esthetic - music, art, and even her ladies-in-waiting - Catherine de Medici surrounded herself in beauty. Seeing it as a powerful instrument of political influence, she used it to her advantage. Imagine the glittering entourage of artists that surrounded such power! French music in the 16th century is an exquisite if little known repertoire. Under Catherine's influence, dance became a central part of courtly life. (The program includes a delightful excerpt from the very first ballet de cour given under Catherine's patronage and encouragement.) Even the beautiful songs of the day were used for dancing, and the result is music, which is lively, powerful and sexy, just like dance music should always be.