Native of Valencia (Spain), the Borgias have remained notorious in history essentially through Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503). Accused of simony, nepotism, rape and corruption, Pope Alexander VI led a life of debauchery. As to his children, Lucrezia was accused of incestuous relationships, and Cesare served as a model for Niccolò Machiavelli's famous book, The Prince.
Yet, Pope Alexander VI was a great sponsor of the arts at the outset of the Renaissance. Many songbooks of this time, including works by Gilles Binchois, Guillaume Dufay, Josquin des Prez, Heinrich Isaac or Claude Goudimel, bear witness of the luxury of the papal court at this time. Jordi Savall and the musicians of the music ensembles Hespèrion XXI and La Capella Reial de Catalunya, have dug into these sources to shed a new light on the Borgias and their cultural environment, from their political beginning in Valence in the 11th century up to their Roman consecration as pope at the turn of the 16th century.
Le Concert Spirituel at the Time of Louis XV
The Spirit of Singing and Dance, 1450-1650. Hespèrion XXI