Late-Renaissance Italian composer Carlo Gesualdo (1561 - 1613) has become far better known than many of his contemporaries. This probably has something to do with his murdering his wife and her lover. At the time this attracted a great deal of publicity and kept giving rise to publications even in the twentieth century.
After that incident, Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza, remained unpunished and retreated into his castle to openly devote himself to music. His considerable oeuvre mainly consists of vocal works which today have been performed by several of the “authentic” ensembles. Especially the secular items have proved to be popular.
Gesualdo originally published his first Book of Madrigals under a pseudonym. It contains (15) five-part songs with instrumental accompaniment in sometimes “bold” polyphony as do a further five books of madrigals he wrote. The first set is often overlooked. Here the composer set (tormented) texts by contemporary poets like Gatti and Tasso. As in all madrigals by Gesualdo here images from the text are translated into music. Dissonants are plentiful.
- This recording is a production of the Festival Gesualdo Oggi - Tracce 2004 (Potenza, Italy).
- Extensive information and all texts in Italian with English translation in booklet.