The Adonia festival took place in ancient Greece every year between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. This particular festival for women only mourned the death of Adonis and celebrated his lover, the goddess Aphrodite.
During the ritual, women planted fast-growing seeds in shallow beds of broken clay pots. The women gathered on the rooftops for an ecstatic, nighttime feast in honor of the fallen god of beauty, expressing their lament together in the form of laments, drinking wine, and making noise. The ritual was not only a lamentation of love cruelly stolen by the hands of fate, but also a feverish "final dance" with all the short-lived joys and desires of life.
Phaedrus uses excerpts from two historical Italian texts to retell the myth of Venus and Adonis: Girolamo Parabosco's La favola d'Adone (1545) and Giambattista Marino's L'Adone (1623), both written in ottava rima. This is the same rhyme structure on which hundreds of frottole were improvised and composed throughout the Renaissance. Here, excerpts of the Adonis story from these two pieces of literature have been set to surviving 16th century sprattole melodies. The combination of historical narrative poetry with this highly flexible melodic medium makes for an original and compelling reading of the classic Adonis myth.
Phaedrus enriches the Adonis narrative with madrigals by early composers of the genre from the first half of the 16th century, such as Arcadelt, Verdelot, and de Rore. In addition, the ensemble performs rarely heard and adventurous arrangements of early Italian dance music by Dalza, Bendusi, and Mainerio.
Performers and additional information:
Miriam Trevisan - vocals
Bor Zuljan - renaissance lute
Luis Martínez Pueyo
Note: This text was translated by machine translation software and not by a human translator. It may contain translation errors.