Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Thu, 23 May 2024 13:42:01 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Claudio Monteverdi - Flaming Heart (2006) Claudio Monteverdi - Flaming Heart (2006)

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1	L'Orfeo: Orfeo: Prologue	5:42
2	Luci Serene E Chiare	3:48	
3	Anima Mia, Perdona	5:21
4	Symphonia: Tempro La Cetra: Tempro La Cetra, E Per Cantar Gli Onori	9:17
5	Ahi Come A Un Vago Sol Cortese Giro	5:15	
6	Con Che Soavita, Labbra Adorate	5:12	 
7	L'Orfeo: Orfeo, Act II: Sinfonia	1:21	 
8	Ch'Io T'Ami, E T'Ami Piu Della Mia Vita	8:02	 
9	Se Pur Destina E Vole, "Partenza Amorosa": Se Pur Destina E Vole	8:10
10	Parlo, Miser, O Taccio?: Parlo, Miser'O Taccio?	4:43	
11	Volgendo Il Ciel Per L'Immortal Sentiero… Movete Al Mio Bel Suon: Volgendo Il Ciel Per L'Immortal Sentiero… Movete Al Mio Bel Suon	10:59		
12	Longe Da Te, Cor Mio	2:59	
13	Piagne E Sospira, E Quando I Caldi Raggi: Piagn'E Sospira	5:08

I Fiagolini:
David [Lute Miller / Baroque Guitar] (Chitarrone)
Catherine Martin (Violin)
Matthew Halls (Organ)
Jan Spencer (Violin)
Richard Campbell [Viola da Gamba]
Joy Smith (Harp)
Anna Crooks (Soprano)
Carys-Anne Lane (Soprano)
Clare Wilkinson (Mezzo-Soprano)
Nicholas Mulroy (Tenor)
Nicholas Hurndall Smith (Tenor)
Louise Hogan (Violin)
Matthew Brook (Baritone)
Giles Underwood (Bass Baritone)
Eligio Quinteiro (Chitarrone)
William Hunt (Bass Viol)
Peter McCarthy (Bass Viol)
Catherine Pierron (Harpsichord)
Joy Smith (Harp, Continuo)


Monteverdi's eighth and final book of madrigals appeared in Venice in 1638, 19 years after its predecessor. If it hasn't taken Rinaldo Alessandrini and his Concerto Italiano quite that long to complete their version, it's still been a protracted process - the first two discs of the set were made in the late 1990s, but the third was recorded last December. Alessandrini's approach to this music, though, has remained consistent, and the finely honed dramatic pointing of Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, with which the set begins, is just as vivid as the way in which the later, less theatrical settings are presented. There's real excitement here, a sense of this music being stripped of its historical accretions and presented in its original primary colours, even if some of Alessandrini's interpretative decisions, such as the liberal addition of percussion to some numbers, will upset historical purists.

Yet Concerto Italiano's stylistic liberties might seem a model of scholarly rectitude alongside Rolando Villazon's singing on Emmanuelle Haïm's disc. Villazón makes few concessions to 17th-century style and, in both Combattimento and a selection of settings from the seventh book of madrigals, launches into Monteverdi's achingly expressive tenor writing as though it were Puccini. Most of the results are ravishing (Villazón's account of the 1624 Si Dolce e 'l Tormento is haunting); a few others are more questionable, but it is always hugely enjoyable.

As anyone who has experienced a concert by Robert Hollingsworth and I Fagiolini, the group he founded 20 years ago, would expect, their first Monteverdi disc takes a very different approach from that of either Alessandrini or Haïm. Their sequence ranges widely: opening with La Musica's aria from the prologue to the opera Orfeo, it then extracts numbers from the fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth books of madrigals, as well as returning to Orfeo for the purely instrumental Sinfonia, to provide a cooling interlude. It's put together with imagination, wit and profound admiration for the expressive power of Monteverdi's word setting, and every number is performed with the same combination of sterling virtues. ---Andrew Clements,

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]]> (bluesever) Monteverdi Claudio Fri, 23 Oct 2009 17:11:03 +0000
Claudio Monteverdi - I 7 peccati capitali (2016) Claudio Monteverdi - I 7 peccati capitali (2016)

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1 L’incoronazione di Poppea, SV 308, Act I Scene 4: Speranza, tu mi vai 06:51
2 Quarto scherzo delle ariose vaghezze: Si dolce e’l tormento, SV 332 05:05
3 L’incoronazione di Poppea, SV 308, Act I Scene 2: Chi parla? 03:59
4 Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, SV 325, Act III Scene 5: Compagni, udiste? 07:18
5 VIII libro dei madrigali: Ardo e scoprir ahi lasso, SV 158 05:15
6 L’incoronazione di Poppea, SV 308, Act I Scene 9: Son risoluto al fine 04:26
7 L’incoronazione di Poppea, SV 308, Act II Scene 6: Or che seneca e morto 05:26
8 Selva morale e spirituale: O ciechi il tanto affaticar che giova, SV 252 04:04
9 Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, SV 325, Act II Scene 3: Pastor d’armenti puo 02:13
10 Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, SV 325, Act V Scene 2: Imparate mortali 03:08
11 IV libro dei madrigali: Si ch’io vorrei morire hora chio bacio amore, SV 89 03:02
12 L’Orfeo, SV 318, Act III: Orfeo son io 05:07
13 III libro dei madrigali: Vattene pur crudel con quella pace, SV 67 06:35
14 VIII libro dei madrigali: Altri canti d’amor, SV 146 09:55

Mariana Flores - soprano
Francesca Aspromonte - soprano
Christopher Lowrey - countertenor
Emiliano Gonzalez Toro - tenor
Cappella Mediterranea
Leonardo Garcia Alarcon - direction, spinet, organ


Passions run high in the operas and madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi, and they dominate Capella Mediterranea's 2016 release on Alpha-Classics, I 7 Peccati Capitali (The Seven Deadly Sins). Interpreted here as the seven deadly sins of sloth, envy, pride, greed, gluttony, lust, and wrath, and accompanied by corresponding virtues listed as hope, extravagance, chastity, humility, temperance, charity, and courage, the excerpts from Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, and Orfeo, along with selections from Selva morale e spirituale, Ariose Vaghezze, and the Libri dei Madrigali, provide representations of 17th century morality and key examples of Monteverdi's seconda pratica, described by the group's leader, Leonardo García Alarcón, as "the rationalisation of emotions through music, and a meditation on human vanity." The intensely dramatic performances by this ensemble of six singers, joined by a consort playing period instruments, give an idea of the wide expressive range Monteverdi employed in his music and the theatricality and virtuosity of his artists. This extraordinary album was released in anticipation of the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi's birth, and the enthusiasm and high energy of Capella Mediterranea's performances suggest that their celebrations in 2017 will be quite lively and entertaining. ---Blair Sanderson, AllMusic Review


Cappella Mediterranea has already made several distinguished recordings, including a Monteverdi Vespers for the Ambronay label (review), and their Carmina Latina album for the Ricercar label (review). This is the first of Leonardo García Alarcón’s recordings for Alpha Classics, and it marks the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi's birth.

This is both an original programme of music by one of Alarcón’s favourite composers and a kind of sampler of Monteverdi's music - both the placing of arias and madrigals in a new context, and providing an introduction that can and should lead to further exploration. Monteverdi never wrote a work called I 7 Peccati Capitali, but this anthology alternates between sins and virtues, resulting in fourteen superbly performed and recorded tracks of pieces from L’incoronazione di Poppea, Il ritorno d’Ulisse, Orfeo, the madrigals, and including an excerpt from the Selva morale e Spirituale.

The booklet notes, presented in a gorgeously illustrated hardback cover, start with Alarcón’s own comments on 'Monteverdi or the Garden of Delights.' He sums up L’incoronazione di Poppea as "perhaps the most amoral opera in the history of music," while "offering a moral remedy to vice, in the madrigals of the Selva morale."

Beyond concerns of vice and sanctity, this is the kind of album which you can kick off your shoes, sit back and revel in: following the texts in translation so you know what's going on if that has priority. With both excellent singing and acting, the vocal performances are second to none, and it's certainly worth being made aware of the emotional depth, irony and wit in both Monteverdi's settings and the performances themselves. Each track runs with a logical progression to the next, each cleverly chosen to suit the tonality of the last and to provide both contrast and continuity.

Purists may sniff a little at such a compilation of music from disparate sources, but they will be missing out on a real treat if they avoid this release. More than just a collection of highlights, this is a well-judged programme that creates its own narrative, from the opening ‘Hope’ to a finale that champions ‘Courage’ via Nero's lustful desires and designs on Poppea. There are plenty of other dramas and virtues along the way. This is a delectable box of musical treasures that you will certainly want to open more than once. ---Dominy Clements,

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]]> (bluesever) Monteverdi Claudio Sat, 24 Feb 2018 16:00:02 +0000
Claudio Monteverdi - L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Alan Curtis) [2011] Claudio Monteverdi - L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Alan Curtis) [2011]

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L’Incoronazione di Poppea - Firenze 2011 Alan Curtis

Poppea  - Susan Graham
Nerone  - Jeremy Ovenden
Fortuna e Valletto  - Serena Malfi
Virtù e Pallade - Anna Kasyan
Amore 	- Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli
Ottone 	- Anders Dahlin
Arnalta - 	Krystian Adam
Ottavia 	- José Maria Lo Monaco
Nutrice  - Nicola Marchesini
Seneca  -Matthew Brook
Drusilla - Ana Quintans
Littore e 1° Console - Matteo Ferrara
Damigella - Maria Laura Martorana
Lucano e 1° Soldato - 	Nicholas Phan 
Liberto 	- Vittorio Prato 
2° Soldat - Juan Sancho
2° Console  - Nicolò Ayroldi
1° Tribuno - Saulo Garcia
2° Tribuno - Davide Siega
Familiari di Seneca - Margherita Puliga

Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
Alan Curtis – conductor


The only disputed fact about L’incoronazione di Poppea is that it was first performed at the Teatro SS. Giovanni e Paolo in Venice during the Carnival season of 1643. The musical attribution to Claudio Monteverdi derives only from two seventeenth century catalogues, and up until recently it has never been questioned.

In the last few decades, on the contrary, a deeper study of the score led to more intense doubts as to the true paternity of this masterpiece. One of the leading Italian scholars, Lorenzo Bianconi, now can firmly state that “no proof allows to attribute the opera, wholly or in part, to Monteverdi”. Baroque specialist René Jacobs has a softer stance, believing L’incoronazione di Poppea to be the result of a common work of a number of composers under Monteverdi’s supervision, transferring to the music a work procedure more common in the visual arts world.

The critical edition of the score used for the current Florentine performance, authored by Alan Curtis (who also conducted it), and published in 1989 bears the description “Music attributed to Claudio Monteverdi and Francesco Sacrati”.

It is common knowledge that two manuscript sources, in addition to numerous versions of the libretto, exist of L’incoronazione di Poppea. Both were published posthumously in 1651 and 1656, in Naples and Venice respectively. The only direct source is a “scenario”, a detailed plot summary; printed in 1642. None of these three publications mention Monteverdi; neither the Venetian “scenario”, nor the Neapolitan edition of the score assign the authorship of the libretto to Gian Francesco Busenello, who will receive his due credit several years later in his opera omnia Le ore ociose.

Current general consensus has it that Francesco Sacrati, Francesco Cavalli, Benedetto Ferrari, who in his own 1641 Pastor regio had set to music the duet “Pur ti miro, pur ti godo” are the composers that most likely – and until future discoveries – collaborated with the seventy-six year old maestro.

What’s more, neither of the two existing manuscripts is comparable to what is normally considered a full score, as the vocal lines are accompanied exclusively by a basso continuo , with rare additional parts only where the refrains appear.

It is such an absence of certainties that makes each new production of Poppea so stimulating, because it allows an opera company or a conductor an enormous platitude of choices. Once the decision is made as to which edition to follow, or at least base oneself on, the harmony, counterpoint, instrumentation and continuo realization must be written ex novo. Conductors will be able to avail themselves of the over twenty editions so far published or prepare one themselves. Philological studies have not only focused on the instrumental writing, but also the voice types, or registers, to which the numerous characters of the opera must be assigned. Nerone and Ottone are roles written for castrato, soprano and contralto respectively; Valletto (the forerunner of the wildly successful and long-lived page-boy role) and Amore are two female sopranos. As regards women’s voices, in exactly the same way as both his contemporaries and predecessors, Monteverdi uses two: the contralto and a type of voice which is soprano in name but never sings in very high tessituras or over a very wide range, and in any event coincides with the mezzo-soprano voice. Some female figures of the grieving, suffering type, and women of relatively mature age (Ottavia) come decidedly into this vocal category. Poppea, on the other hand, although she sings in a very central tessitura, already suggests what we call a lyric soprano. With regard to the contralto voice, Monteverdi uses it for the role of the nurse Arnalta, having her sing a very low tessitura with a range that for practical purposes is confined to the lowest octave of this type of voice. Both Arnalta and the Nutrice (Ottavia’s nurse) are written in the C clef, which nowadays means for contralto or for tenor, depending if the centre of the clef lies on the third or fourth lines.

As mentioned earlier, Alan Curtis has used his own critical edition of the score, first performed in Florence in the year 2000 by Ivor Bolton. This time, Mr. Curtis has decided to shed some of “his own” music by eliminating two deities, Venere, and Mercurio. Curtis employs fourteen instruments, favouring the dry timbres of harpsichords, lutes and chitarrones. Growing up on the legendary 1974 Telefunken recording by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, I cannot deny I missed the variety offered by his employing woodwinds and brass such as descant recorders, fifes and dulcians. Apart from this relative colour slenderness, Curtis shapes Poppea’s music with a richness of rhythms and contrasts, which contribute to the advancement of a tight and even breathtaking action, even in the incredible accumulation of situations and characters declaiming the representations of the affections according to the “concordance of the discordances” so dear to the Baroque aesthetics. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Monteverdi Claudio Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:08:42 +0000
Claudio Monteverdi – Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (1997) Claudio Monteverdi – Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (1997)

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01 - Monteverdi -Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda
02 - Monteverdi -Sinfonia
03 - Sigismono D'India -Forsennata gridava
04 - Monteverdi -Vattene pur, crudel
05 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tasso -Rimanti in pace (I parte)
06 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tasso -Vattene pur, crudel (II parte)
07 - D'India -Là tra 'l sangue e le morti
08 - Mazzocchi -Chiudesti i lumi, Armida
09 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tassa -Or che farà? (V parte)
10 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tassa -Poi ch'ella in sé tornò? (VI parte)
11 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tassa -Che fa più meco il pianto? (VII parte)
12 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tassa -Misera Armida (VIII parte)
13 - Eredi -L'Armida del Tassa -Questo bellezza mia (IX parte)
14 - Bernardi -Sinfonia prima a 6
15 - Cifra -Era La Notte
16 - Monteverdi -Piagn'e sospira
17 - D'India -Ma che? Squallido e oscuro
18 - Biagio Marini -La bella Ermina

Marinella Pennicchi, soprano (Clorinda)
Giovanni Caccamo, tenor (Tancredi)
Furio Zanasi, baryton (testo)

Ensemble Elyma
Gabriel Garrido – director


‘Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda’ (SV 153) is an operatic scena for three voices by Claudio Monteverdi, although many dispute how the piece should be classified. The piece has a libretto drawn from Torquato Tasso's La Gerusalemme Liberata ("Jerusalem Delivered", Canto XII, 52-62, 64-68), a Romance set against the backdrop of the First Crusade.

‘Il Combattimento’ was first produced in 1624 but not printed until 1638, when it appeared with several other pieces in Monteverdi’s eighth book of madrigals (written over a period of many years). In ‘Il Combattimento’ the orchestra and voices form two separate entities. The strings are divided into four independent parts instead of the usual five – an innovation that was not generally adopted by European composers until the eighteenth century.

‘Il combattimento’ contains one of the earliest known uses of pizzicato in baroque music, in which the players are instructed to set down their bows and use two fingers of their right hand to pluck the strings. It also contains one of the earliest uses of the string tremolo, in which a particular note is reiterated as a means of generating excitement. This latter device was so revolutionary that Monteverdi had considerable difficulty getting the players of his day to perform it correctly. These innovations, like the fourfold division of the strings, were not taken up by Monteverdi’s contemporaries or immediate successors.

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]]> (bluesever) Monteverdi Claudio Tue, 07 Sep 2010 19:27:49 +0000
Claudio Monteverdi – Madrigals. Books 4 & 5 (1997) Claudio Monteverdi – Madrigals. Books 4 & 5 (1997)

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CD 1
1. Book 4, SV 75-93: 1. Ah dolente partita!
2. Book 4, SV 75-93: 2. Cor mio, mentre vi miro
3. Book 4, SV 75-93: 3. Cor mio, non mori?
4. Book 4, SV 75-93: 4. Sfogava con le stelle
5. Book 4, SV 75-93: 5. Volgea l'anima mia
6. Book 4, SV 75-93: 6. Anima mia perdona. Prima parte
7. Book 4, SV 75-93: 7. Che se tu se'il cor mio. Seconda parte
8. Book 4, SV 75-93: 8. Luci serene e chiare
9. Book 4, SV 75-93: 9. La piaga c'ho nel core
10. Book 4, SV 75-93: 10. Voi pur da me partite
11. Book 4, SV 75-93: 11. A un giro sol de' begl'occhi
12. Book 4, SV 75-93: 12. Ohimè, se tanto amate
13. Book 4, SV 75-93: 13. "Io mi son giovinetta"
14. Book 4, SV 75-93: 14. Quel augellin che canta
15. Book 4, SV 75-93: 15. Non più guerra pietate
16. Book 4, SV 75-93: 16. Sì ch'io vorrei morire
17. Book 4, SV 75-93: 17. Anima dolorosa
18. Book 4, SV 75-93: 18. Anima del cor mio
19. Book 4, SV 75-93: 19. Longe da te cor mio
20. Book 4, SV 75-93: 20. Piagn' e sospira
21. Con che soavità, labbra odorate (from Book 7), SV 139
22. Mentre vaga Angioletta ogn'anima gentil cantando alletta (from Book 8), SV 157
23. Tempro la cetra (from Book 7), SV 117

CD 2
24. Book 5, SV 94-106: 1. Cruda Amarilli
25. Book 5, SV 94-106: 2. O Mirtillo, Mirtill', anima mia
26. Book 5, SV 94-106: 3. Era l'anima mia
27. Book 5, SV 94-106: 4. Ecco, Silvio
28. Book 5, SV 94-106: 5. Ma se con la pietà
29. Book 5, SV 94-106: 6. Dorinda, ah! dirò
30. Book 5, SV 94-106: 7. Ecco, piegando
31. Book 5, SV 94-106: 8. Ferir quel petto
32. Book 5, SV 94-106: 9. Ch'io t'ami
33. Book 5, SV 94-106: 10. Deh! Bella e cara
34. Book 5, SV 94-106: 11. Ma tu, più che mai dura
35. Book 5, SV 94-106: 12. Che dar più vi poss'io
36. Book 5, SV 94-106: 13. M'è più dolce il penar
37. Book 5, SV 94-106: 14. Ahi, come a un vago sol
38. Book 5, SV 94-106: 15. Troppo ben può
39. Book 5, SV 94-106: 16. Amor, se giusto sei
40. Book 5, SV 94-106: 17. "T'amo mia vita!"
41. Book 5, SV 94-106: 18. E così a poc' a poco
42. Book 5, SV 94-106: 19. Questi vaghi concenti
43. Ogni amante è guerrier (from Book 8), SV 151

Emma Kirkby, Poppy Holden, Evelyn Tubb (sopranos)
Cathy Cass, Mary Nichols (altos)
Joseph Cornwell, Paul Elliott, Andrew Lawrence-King (tenors)
Richard Wistreich, John Milne, David Thomas (basses)

The Consort of Musicke - Anthony Rooley (conductor)


This is a very fine presentation of some of the greatest madrigals ever written. Part of a whole series of recordings of the famous Books of Madrigals by Monteverdi, this double CD presents earlier recordings made by a group of distinguished singers led by Emma Kirkby together with Anthony Rooley's Consort of Musicke. One of the seminal groups of the Early Music movement, the Consort is known for its contributions to the performance of Renaissance music through the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.

I found this collection useful for the historical connotations of the program. One of the most important aspects is the birth of the new style in the first years of the seventeenth century. With the last six pieces of the Fifth Book, Monteverdi specifically demands the use of continuo instruments and through this he clearly marks the transition to the Baroque era. The seconda pratica (second practice) characterizes most of these two books of madrigals. The opening of the madrigal "Sfogava con le stelle" (Communing with the stars) represents an ensemble declamation on one chord in the rhythm of the text. In the new style, the words should govern the music, the sonorities must be in accordance with the textual images and ideas. The theatrical style is reinforced in the pieces of the Fifth Book by the particular dissonance treatment, such as unprepared sevenths and ninths. They were characterized at the time as improper.

The importance of the text is also evident through the thinner textures that Monteverdi uses at different moments in a piece. The composer writes passages where only alternating pair voices sing or if there are three voices at a time, one of them has a functional role while the other two move in parallel thirds, as in "Io mi son giovinetta" (I am young). Polyphony is not abandoned (a few madrigals have reminiscences of the prima pratica), but enhanced to smaller groups of voices competing or completing with each other.

The present recording sets apart through the clarity of the voices and the delicate ornamentation of certain passages, including a perceptible vibrato often used to enrich the sonority of such a small group. An impeccable vocal technique, which doesn't show off but serves the communication of emotions, an elegant treatments of the dynamics, including expressive accents, and an impeccable Italian diction are defining elements of this performance. Balance is sometimes a very difficult task in the context of Monteverdi's madrigals, but these singers are well coordinated and prove a highly trained sense of awareness. To give this recording an even more interesting angle, the collection is rounded off by other four substantial accompanied madrigals. "Con che soavità" and "Tempro la cetra" come from the 7th Book, while "Mentre vaga Angioletta" and "Ogni amante è guerrier" are taken from the 8th Book. These pieces give the listeners an idea about the direction of Monteverdi's music. ---Bogdan Minut,

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]]> (bluesever) Monteverdi Claudio Fri, 13 Aug 2010 16:55:34 +0000
Claudio Monteverdi – Orfeo (Garrido) [1996] Claudio Monteverdi – Orfeo (Garrido) [1996]

La favola d'Orfeo, opera, SV 318 	

Disc 1
1 	Prologue.: Toccata	1:28 	
2 	Prologue.: "Dal mio Permeso amato"	5:51 	
3 	Act 1.: "In questo lieto e fortunato giorno"	3:35 	
4 	Act 1.: "Lasciate i monti"	2:37 	
5 	Act 1.: "Rosa del ciel"	3:51 	
6 	Act 1.: "Vieni, Imeneo"		1:50 	
7 	Act 1.: "Alcun non sia che disperato in preda"	5:00 	
8 	Act 2.: "Ecco pur ch'a voi ritorno"	1:30 	
9 	Act 2.: "In questo prato adorno"	4:13 	
10 	Act 2." Ahi caso acerbo!"	3:27 	
11 	Act 2.: "In un fiorito prato"	4:07 	
12 	Act 2.: "Tu se'morta, mia vita, ed io rispiro?"	2:29 	
13 	Act 2.: "Ahi caso acerbo"	4:09 	
14 	Act 2.: "Chi ne consola, ahi lassi? "	5:45 	

Disc 2
1 	Act 3.: "Scòrto da te, mio Nume"	2:53 	
2 	Act 3.: "Ecco l'atra palude"	3:57 	
3 	Act 3.: "O tu ch'innanzi"	2:10 	
4 	Act 3.: "Possente spirto"	4:29 			
5 	Act 3.: "Orfeo son io"	3:39 	
6 	Act 3.: "Sol tu, nobil Dio"	2:51 	
7 	Act 3.: "Ei dorme"	2:53 	
8 	Act 3.: "Nulla impresa"	3:55 	
9 	Act 4.: "Signor quel infelice"	7:29 	
10 	Act 4.: "Qual onor di te fia degno"	2:36 	
11 	Act 4.: "O dolcissimi lumi"	2:42 	
12 	Act 4.: "E la virtute un raggio"	3:37 	
13 	Act 5.:"Questi i campi di Tracia"		7:42 	
14 	Act 5.: "Perch'a Io sdegno"	4:43 	
15 	Act 5.: "Saliam cantando al cielo"	1:17 	
16 	Act 5.: "Vanne, Orfeo, felice e pieno"	5:42 	

Orfeo - Victor Torres
Euridice - Adriana Fernández
Sylvia, Messaggiera - Gloria Banditelli
Speranza, La Musica – Maria Cristina Kiehr
Caronte – Antonio Abete
Plutone, Pastore IV – Furio Zanasi
Proserpina, Ninfa - Roberta Invernizzi
Apollo - Maurizio Rossano
Pastore I – Gerd Turk
Pastore II – Fabian Schofrin
Pastore III, Spirito I – Giovanni Caccamo
Spirito II – Salvatore Sutera

Coro Antonio Il Verso
Ensemble Elyma
Direction - Gabriel Garrido


Opera in five acts and a prologue Libretto by Alessandro Striggio First performed at Palais ducal in Mantoue, February 24th, 1607 Monteverdi’s Orfeo is considered one of opera’s founding masterpieces. This opera still enjoyed the influence of the learned Renaissance art of the madrigal but was already part of the transition to the Baroque, which would soon see music serving text, poetry and the expression of passions. What better myth than that of Orpheus and Eurydice to bring about the birth of this new approach to making music? ---

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]]> (bluesever) Monteverdi Claudio Fri, 23 Oct 2009 17:13:57 +0000
Claudio Monteverdi – Scherzi Musicali (2005) Claudio Monteverdi – Scherzi Musicali (2005)

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1. Fugge 'L Verno De' Dolori
2. Come Faro Cuor Mio Quando Mi Parto
3. Lidia Spina Del Mio Core
4. Damigella Tutta Bella
5. Quel Sguardo Sdegnosetto
6. Piu Lieto Il Guardo
7. Et E Pur Dunque Vero
8. Si Dolce E 'L Tormento
9. Clori Amorosa
10. Ecco Di Dolci Raggi
11. Lo Che'Armato Sin Hor
12. Eri Gia Tutta Mia
13. Maledetto Sia L'Aspetto
14. Aria Detta Balletto (Frescobaldi)
15. Quando Sperai
16. Quando L'Alba In Oriente
17. Toccata Arpeggiata (Anonyme)
18. Se I Languidi Miei Sguardi
19. Ohime Ch'io Cado
20. De La Bellezza Le Dovute Lodi

Maria Cristina Kiehr - Soprano
Stephan MacLeod -  Bass Baritone
Concerto Soave
Jean-Marc Aymes – conductor


Before turning to the performances on this splendid disc, it will be helpful to determine what it includes. The greater part of it is devoted to the two published sets of vocal chamber works entitled Scherzi musicali. The first, Scherzi musicali a tre voci , appeared in 1607 in Venice. The publication, which Monteverdi left his brother Giulio Cesare to oversee, includes 15 works for three voices, six of which are included on the present disc. In addition to its musical value, the 1607 Scherzi musicali is of great importance to historians for the preface, which includes further arguments advanced by Giulio Cesare in defense of the so-called seconda prattica (the term used here for the first time), or modern style, adopted and immeasurably advanced by Monteverdi.

The second set of Scherzi musicali appeared in Venice in 1632. Consisting mostly of solos in stil recititivo , it is here recorded complete with the exception of two pieces. In addition we are given two works from the 1584 Canzonette , examples of equal-voiced 3-part polyphony in the old prima prattica style, and Se i languidi , the famous “ lettera amoroso ” from the seventh madrigal book (1619). Although there is a Naxos recording of the complete 1607 publication ( Fanfare 22:3), recordings of the Scherzi are comparatively rare, being generally restricted to an odd number scattered about in more general collections.

Perceptive readers may by now have picked up on references in the above paragraphs to three-part compositions, but noted that only two singers are listed in the heading. The explanation is that in the works concerned, the canzonets and the 1607 Scherzi , one or more vocal part(s) are taken by instruments. In the case of the canzonets, there appears to be solid historical evidence for such practice, but I’m less convinced by the arguments advanced by Jean-Marc Aymes for performing the Scherzi in this way. They are scored for two sopranos and bass, and to my mind replacing the second soprano with a violin not only undermines the balance, the vocal lines being inevitably more prominent, but also the deliberately sensual effect Monteverdi so frequently sought in combining two equal high voices.

That said, the disc is a joy. As such rubrics as “canzonet” and “scherzo” readily suggest, this is for the most part Monteverdi in playful mode, particularly in the case of the 1607 Scherzi , which are dominated by infectious dance rhythms initially laid out by the introductory instrumental ritornellos with their two violins. The structure is strophic, the word-setting largely syllabic, although the composer is not averse to the odd touch of word painting on occasion. María Cristina Kiehr and the fine Swiss bass Stephan MacLeod bring to them a deliciously light touch, my sole reservation being that the tempo contrast in De la bellezza is surely too great, the verses being taken too slowly in comparison with the dance-like refrain.

The later Scherzi are more varied, ranging from short passages in recitative style ( Ecco di dolci raggi and Lo che’armato , both sung by MacLeod with a fine sense of dramatic structure) to more virtuosic pieces like Quel sguardo sdegnosetto , in which Monteverdi deploys the full armory of affetti over a quasi-ostinato bass. Both here and, indeed, throughout the disc Kiehr’s singing is superb, not only as to the golden, warm luster of her tone, but also the purity of its perfectly even production and intelligent control. One need only hear her total command of the expressive nuances in the long “ lettera amorosa ,” entirely composed in stile recitativo , to be conscious of being in the presence of a consummate artist. And how beautifully Kiehr catches the dreamlike languor of Si dolce è’l tormento (one of two pieces on the disc drawn from yet another publication, the Quarto Scherzo of 1624), the descending phrases almost lazily etching themselves on the memory. Kiehr’s long association with Concerto Soave ensures sympathetic support of the highest quality, with some fine playing from the violinists in the ritornellos of the 1607 Scherzi . Delightful music performed with supreme artistry. --- FANFARE: Brian Robins,

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]]> (bluesever) Monteverdi Claudio Mon, 02 May 2011 18:37:22 +0000
Monteverdi - Altri canti (Christie) [1981] Monteverdi - Altri canti (Christie) [1981]

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1	Altri Canti di Marte			
2	Perche Ten Fuggi O Fillide			
3	Chiome D'oro, Canzonetta			
4	Hor Ch'el Ciel E La Terra			
5	Non Havea Febo Ancora Lamento Della Ninfa			
6	Gira Il Nemico Insidioso			
7	Amor Che Deggio Far			
8	Tirsi E Clori, Ballo Concertato

Les Arts Florissants
William Christie – conductor


The eight madrigals performed here, taken from Monteverdi's Seventh and Eighth Books of Madrigals (1619 and 1638), demonstrate just how much the form had evolved since its heyday in the Renaissance, to the point that its name had lost almost any specific descriptive meaning, beyond the fact that multiple voices were involved. One of the madrigals from the Eighth Book, Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda is structured like a mini-opera, and Tirsi e Clori, from the Seventh Book and included on this disc, is designated as a ballet. William Christie and his ensemble, Les Arts Florissants, are veterans in this repertoire, and they perform it with consummate assurance.

Some of these madrigals are exceedingly odd. Altri canti di Marte, for example, has an episodic structure consisting of fragmentary sections juxtaposed with little immediately apparent musical logic, and it's a measure of the performers' inventiveness that they can pull it off as a coherent musical experience, albeit a strange one. In the more conventionally structured madrigals, such as Chiome d'oro, their performance has an easy graciousness. In the three-part Lamento della Ninfa, one of the composer's most familiar works, the grinding dissonances of the outer a cappella sections frame the lyrical, heartfelt chaconne at its center to create a poignant drama. The singers' voices are distinctive, warm, rich, and full of character, as is appropriate for this repertoire, which aims for expressive individual intensity rather than a homogenous blend. The sound is warm and present, and there is good balance between the voices and the instruments. ---Stephen Eddins, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Monteverdi Claudio Thu, 07 Mar 2013 17:16:41 +0000
Monteverdi - Il Ballo delle Ingrate • La Sestina (Christie) [1983] Monteverdi - Il Ballo delle Ingrate • La Sestina (Christie) [1983]

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1. Il Ballo Delle Ingrate: Ov
2. Il Ballo Delle Ingrate: Amore: 'De I'implacabil Dio'
3. Il Ballo Delle Ingrate: Sinf
4. Il Ballo Delle Ingrate: Venere: 'Udite, Donne, Udite'
5. Il Ballo Delle Ingrate: Plutone: 'Bella Madre D'amor'
6. Il Ballo Delle Ingrate: Amore E Venere: 'Ecco Ver Noi'
7. Il Ballo Delle Ingrate: Ballo
8. Il Ballo Delle Ingrate: Plutone: 'Dal Tenebroso Orror'
9. Il Ballo Delle Ingrate: Ballo
10. Il Ballo Delle Ingrate: Una Delle Ingrate: 'Ahi Troppo E Duro'
11. Sestina: Prima Parte: Incenerite Spoglie
12. Sestina: Seconda Parte: Ditelo Voi
13. Sestina: Terza Parte: Dara La Notte Il Sol
14. Sestina: Quarta Parte: Ma Te Raccoglie
15. Sestina: Quinta Parte: O Chiome D'or
16. Sestina: Sesta Et Ultima Parte: Dunque Amata Reliquie

Jill Feldman - soprano 
Philippe Cantor - tenor
Guillemette Laurens – mezzo-soprano
Dominique Visse - countertenor 
William Christie – harpsichord
Michel Laplénie - tenor
Les Arts Florissants

William Christie – conductor


Il ballo delle ingrate (The Ballo of the Ungrateful Ladies) is a semi-dramatic ballet (or ballo) by the Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi with words by Ottavio Rinuccini. It was first performed in Mantua on Wednesday 4 June 1608 as part of the wedding celebrations for Francesco Gonzaga (the son of Monteverdri's patron Duke Vincenzo of Mantua) and Margaret of Savoy. Both Vincenzo and Francesco Gonzaga took part in the dancing. Monteverdi also composed the opera L'Arianna (to another libretto by Rinuccini) and the music for the prologue to Guarini's play L'idropica for the occasion.

Monteverdi’s Sixth Book of Madrigals, which appeared nine years after his previous volume, was conceived as his final, though highly significant contribution to the stile antico. This was on the point of being consigned to history by the solo vocal style of the new musical form of opera and by the equally innovative concertato madrigal. Two masterpieces within Book Six show that the traditional five-part madrigal was still a force to be reckoned: the Sestina, Monteverdi’s heartrending tribute to his wife, who had died in 1607, and the Lamento d’Arianna, a polyphonic transcription of his best-known solo operatic piece. The 1623 solo version of the Lamento can also be heard on this CD, as well as twelve rarely performed madrigals published between 1593 and 1634.

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]]> (bluesever) Monteverdi Claudio Sat, 09 Mar 2013 14:09:55 +0000
Monteverdi - Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria (2007) Monteverdi - Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria (2007)

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1. Prologo. L'umana fragilità. Mortal cosa son io		10:15
2. Sinfonia. di misera regina		12:29
3. Sinfonia. Duri e penosi		15:49	
4. Sinfonia - Superbo è l'uom - In questo Basso mondo		11:41	
5. Dormo ancora o son desto?		5:17	
6. Sinfonia - Cara e lieta gioventù - Tu d'aretusa al fonte		17:17
7. Donate un giorno ob dei		11:22	
8. Come, ob dome mal si salva - Pastor d'armenti può - Ulisse genero		9:23	
9. Sinfonia. Lieto cammino - O gran figlio d'Ulisse - Che veggio oh	19:16	
10. Eurimaco, la donna insomma		4:19	
11. Sono l'altre regine - Apportator d'alte novelle		12:19
12. Compagni udiste		8:14	
13. Perir non puo'		3:48	
14. Io vidi		3:24	
15. Del mio lungo viaggio		6:38
16. Sempre villano Eumete		7:05
17. Generosa Regina		8:40
18. Ecco l'arco d'Ulisse		13:37	
19. O dolor, o martir		7:19	
20. E quai nuovi rumori		3:24
21. Forza d'occulto affetto - E' saggio Eumete	6:14
22. Fiamma è l'ira		4:06
23. Gran Giove, alma de' Dei		8:33	
24. Ericlea che vuoi far?		5:05	
25. Ogni vostra ragion - O delle mie fatiche	14:03

Il Tempo - Walter Testolin
La Fortuna - Angela Bucci
Amore - Lia Serafini
Giove - Gian Paolo Fagotto
Nettuno - Raffaelle Costantini
Minerva - Angela Bucci
Giunone - Lia Serafini
Ulisse - Loris Bertolo
Penelope - Gabriella Martellacci
Iro - Davide Cicchetti
Antinoo - Walter Testolin
Telemaco - Makoto Sakurada
Pisandro - Salvatore Gaias
Anfinomo - Gian Paolo Fagotto
Eumete - Giovanni Gregnanin
Ericlea - Maria Elena Fincato
Eurimaco - Juan Gambina
Melanto - Sofiya Solovey
Umana Fragilità - Maria Elena Fincato

Sergio Vartolo - conductor


Since his recording of L’Orfeo for Naxos (22:1), Sergio Vartolo has taken up residence in Pigna, Corsica, the site of a number of musical events lately, to record all three of Monteverdi’s operas. This issue is the conclusion of the cycle. Like Alan Curtis (29:2), René Jacobs, and Gabriel Garrido (24: 5), he uses the five-act division of the original libretto. Nikolaus Harnoncourt (5:5) and William Christie (28:1) used the three-act division that Monteverdi made for the score. But the division has little real effect on the performance. Much more significant is the added instrumentation (or orchestration in some cases) that most conductors have found necessary to pad out the minimal surviving score. Vartolo follows Curtis and the pioneering Rudolf Ewerhart in eschewing any addition to the instrumental forces. Oddly, in an extensive and valuable annotation of over 40 pages by Ellen Rosand, nothing is mentioned about this aspect of the production. Twelve players are named in addition to Vartolo’s work at the harpsichord and spinet. (Curtis’s notes neither name nor even count the players.) Nor are any details offered about the possible interpolation of instrumental interludes from works of either the composer or others.

As for the performance, Rosand asserts that this series of Monteverdi opera recordings is the first in which “both cast and direction are pre-eminently Italian.” She asserts that in other versions “even when the pronunciation is correct (which is rare), one cannot help noticing an incomprehension of the flow and expressive accentuation of the phrase.” While this may be arguable, there is no denying that she is pointing out the strong points of this performance. Bertolo is a superb Ulisse, and Martellacci as the faithful wife complements his role. Makoto Sakurada fits right in with the Italian cast as Telemaco. Davide Cicchetti as Iro makes the most of his comic lament, one of the first excerpts of the opera ever recorded.

The three very full discs are not even timed, and the libretto does not indicate track numbers. In general, each scene is tracked, though a few short scenes are joined and a few long scenes are divided. The ample booklet is a real value in this package, an issue that is competitive with any previous version. ---FANFARE: J. F. Weber,

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]]> (bluesever) Monteverdi Claudio Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:44:34 +0000