Le Nuove Musiche, led by acclaimed director Krijn Koetsveld, continue with their exceptional series of Claudio Monteverdi’s complete madrigals. Following on from Books V & VI (BC93799), and Book VII (BC94980), released in December 2015, they turn their attention to Books III & IV. At this stage of Monteverdi’s career, he was at a turning point, something that comes across quite clearly in his compositions. In the more traditional works, he gives a clear nod to his teacher Marc’Antonio Ingegneri, as he demonstrates his ability to write in the declamatory Renaissance style. Where Monteverdi sets himself apart, however, is when he demonstrates his ability to match the tender lyrics to sound. O come è gran martire, ‘O what suffering it is’, is a perfect illustration of this, as the mournfully drawn-out ‘O’ immediately captures the listener’s attention, forcing us to appreciate the lover’s lament. He repeats this device in Vattene pur crudel, when Armida’s distressed cry of loneliness soars above the other lines: her rage at having been abandoned by her lover consumes the piece. Monteverdi straddles the Renaissance and the Baroque, and this comes to the fore especially in these two exciting books of madrigals.
Le Nuove Musiche’s approach to Monteverdi is an innovative one: to bring the past into the present, keeping alive the questions of the Renaissance that still permeate our musical landscape today, while seeking to maintain the highest standards of performance authenticity. Their release of Books V & VI garnered excellent reviews, including five stars in the French magazine Diapason.
This new instalment of the Complete Madrigals cycle by Le Nuove Musiche presents the complete books 3 and 4.
The 3rd and 4th book of Madrigals form a transition from the declamatory Renaissance style to a more expressive way of handling the text, in which the musical expression of the emotional impact of the words has prime importance. For instance the lamento “O come e gran mortire”, in its mournful and poignant drawing out of the lover’s pain, will leave no listener untouched.
The vocal ensemble Le Nuove Musiche consists of the elite of Dutch Early Music vocalists, led by eminent conductor and scholar Krijn Koetsveld. Their first Monteverdi recording, the Books 5 & 6 (BC93799) received excellent reviews in the international press, among which a “5 star” in the French Diapason.
Liner notes by the conductor, complete song texts in the original language included in the booklet.
Recorded in The Netherlands in 2014 & 2015.
Contains liner notes and a biography of the artists.