Monteverdi: Madrigals of Love and Loss

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Monteverdi: Madrigals of Love and Loss
James Gilchrist (tenor) Katherine Watson (soprano) & Anna Dennis (soprano) Thomas Walker (tenor) / Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen

[ Hyperion / CD ]

Release Date: Monday 10 February 2014

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Gramophone Award-winning ensemble Arcangelo (in their first recording as a vocal and instrumental group) presents a selection from Monteverdi's last three books of madrigals. These ardent and passionate works are microcosms of Monteverdi's great operas, and among his most celebrated music.

Most of the madrigals of Book 6 (1614) are songs of parting and loss. Book 7 (1619) is entitled Concerto, meaning that all the works it contains require instrumental accompaniment. And Book 8 (1638) introduces the genere concitato-the 'agitated' manner that Monteverdi devised to convey the emotions of war, whether physical or psychological. Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda sets an extended passage from Tasso's epic poem Gerusalemme liberata. Tasso's text, set in the time of the first crusade, tells of the combat between the Christian knight Tancredi and the Saracen maiden Clorinda. Most of the action of the Combattimento is conveyed by a narrator (Testo-the text), sung here by celebrated tenor James Gilchrist.

'These are not easy pieces, but the opening ballet swings along with panache, and there is some excellent tenor solo singing in the first section … the two sopranos in the duet Ohimè, dov'è il mio ben show poise and taste' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This is a wonderful disc, presenting Monteverdi the dramatist and the creator of vivid aural pictures. Presented in such vivid recorded sound and by such accomplished musicians, intuitively directed by the excellent Jonathan Cohen, it provides an invaluable and hugely attractive addition to the composer's already generous representation on disc' (International Record Review)



Volgendo il ciel (Ballo 'Movete')
Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda
Or che'l ciel e la terra
Ohimè, dov'è il mio ben (Book 7)
Zefiro torna
Ohimè il bel viso (Book 6)
Sestina - Lagrimae d'Amante al sepolero dell'amata