Decamerone No.4. Stornellacci Acci Acci

Scope and Content

Author: Giovanni Boccaccio.

Vocals: Lello Finocchi, Maria La Zozza and chorus.

Record label: Fonotil LP 31

Administrative / Biographical History

The Decameron [Decamerone], subtitled Prince Galehaut [Old Italian: Prencipe Galeotto], is a collection of novellas by the 14th-century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375). The Decameron takes place over a fortnight in 1348 and begins with the flight of 10 young people (7 women and 3 men) from plague-stricken Florence to a deserted villa in the countryside. To pass the evenings, each member of the party tells a story, except for on the holy days, during which no work is done at all, and on one other day per week, which is reserved for chores. Thus, by the end of the fortnight 100 stories have been told over the course of ten nights.

Each of the ten characters is charged as King or Queen of the company for one of the ten days in turn. This charge extends to choosing the theme of the stories for that day, and all but two days have topics assigned: examples of the power of fortune; examples of the power of human will; love tales that end tragically; love tales that end happily; clever replies that save the speaker; tricks that women play on men; tricks that people play on each other in general; and examples of virtue. Each of the days ends with a canzone (song) for dancing sung by one of the storytellers.

Boccaccio probably conceived the Decameron after the plague epidemic of 1348, and completed it by 1353, writing in the vernacular of the Florentine language. In addition to its literary value and influence (for example on Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales), The Decameron provides a document of life at the time.