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Monteverdi: Madrigali / Alessandrini, Concerto Italiano


Release Date: 10/26/2010 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 30511   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Number of Discs: 4 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 4 Hours 20 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Included in this set:

Monteverdi: Secondo Libro dei Madrigali / Alessandrini, Concerto Italiano

Monteverdi: Quatro Libro dei Madrigali / Alessandrini, Concerto Italiano

For Monteverdi words were everything, and for those who choose to perform his vocal music an understanding of textual nuance is fundamental. Here, for the first time in the
Read more history of recording, a group of singers who really understand the language as only native Italians can has really shown us all the subtleties of Monteverdi's powerful and moving rhetoric. These are performances infused with such a strong sense of the drama of the text that it is almost overwhelming; flexible speeds, carefully graded dynamics and a natural understanding of the poetry of the Italian language all combine to produce a sequence of individually honed and deeply felt accounts of these remarkable madrigals. Some of the finest pieces in the Fourth Book are those involving direct speech, which allowed Monteverdi to make full use of particular virtuosi famed for their abilities to combine clear declamation with dramatic gestures and subtle shadings of dynamics. At the other end of the scale there are a number of quite exceptional exercises in that bitter-sweet mood, full of har monic asperities, so characteristic of this stage of Monteverdi's career. To all these different worlds the Concerto Italian° under their director Rinaldo Alessandrini bring a keen understanding allied to a muscular vocal style capable of great emotional versatility. As things stand, this is the finest record of Monteverdi's madrigals ever made.

– Gramophone [11/1994]

Monteverdi: Quinto Libro dei Madrigali / Alessandrini, Concerto Italiano

The emotional conflict between lovers is the dominant theme of Monteverdi's Fifth Book of Madrigals, a theme which the composer explores through an atmospherically related sequence of pieces, many on texts taken from Guarini's pastoral epic II pastor fido. Guarini, a well-known figure at the Gonzaga court in Mantua where Monteverdi was then employed, had written this piece over a long period, but it was only in 1602 that a definitive edition was finally published. In this sense there is a modernity about Monteverdi's poetic choices in the Fifth Book which is in turn reflected in an adventurous harmonic and gestural language which pushes the madrigalian vocabulary of Giaches de Wert and Luca Marenzio to new boundaries.

As always with Monteverdi, his main preoccupation here is with an intimate bonding of words and music in a way which goes beyond the illustrative and pictorial manoeuvres of traditional madrigalian styles. This aesthetic priority, which remained with the composer throughout his life, is one which Rinaldo Alessandrini and the Concerto Italiano have done so much to understand and reveal, above all in a series of highly acclaimed, Gramophone Award-winning recordings that have transformed our perceptions of both the sound and the sense of Monteverdi's music. Enthusiasts for the Concerto's highly dramatic, yet sensitive and subtle approach, the rich fruit of a winning combination of a true understanding of the textual complexities of Guarini's verse allied to a high order of technical control, will not be disappointed by this new disc. The opening diptych, "Cruda Amarilli/O Mirtillo", sets the tone and style for much of what follows; the pace is stately, the passion being generated by those extraordinary dissonances that so offended Artusi, delineated here with a lingering attention that is truly spine-chilling while still retaining its erotic undertow. Here and elsewhere on this recording, the exactness of the voicing, the gentle underscoring of rhythm and meaning, the authentic sound of the Italian language and the sheer musicality of the final result — all these familiar trademarks of the Concerto's craft — are united in performances of great expressive power and integrity.

– Gramophone [5/1997]

Monteverdi: Ottavo Libro dei Madrigali - Lamento Della Ninfa / Alessandrini, Concerto Italiano
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Works on This Recording

1.
Madrigals, Book 2 by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1590; Cremona, Italy 
Length: 58 Minutes 0 Secs. 
2.
Madrigals, Book 4 by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1603; Mantua, Italy 
3.
Madrigals, Book 5: Ch'io t'ami e t'ami piu de la mia vita - Troppo ben puo questo tiranno Amore! by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1605; Italy 
Length: 65 Minutes 0 Secs. 
4.
Sinfonia by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
Length: 0 Minutes 45 Secs. 
5.
Madrigals, Book 8: Altri canti d'amor by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1638; Italy 
Length: 9 Minutes 54 Secs. 
6.
Madrigals, Book 8: Non havea Febo "Lamento della ninfa" by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1638; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 19 Secs. 
7.
Madrigals, Book 8: Vago augelletto by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1638; Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 44 Secs. 
8.
Madrigals, Book 8: Perchè t'en fuggi, O Fillide? by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1638; Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 1 Secs. 
9.
Madrigals, Book 8: Altri canti di Marte by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1638; Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 47 Secs. 
10.
Madrigals, Book 8: Ogni amante è guerrier by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1638; Italy 
Length: 1 Minutes 9 Secs. 
11.
Madrigals, Book 8: Hor ch'el ciel e la terra by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1638; Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 58 Secs. 
12.
Madrigals, Book 8: Gira il nemico insidioso amore by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1638; Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 47 Secs. 
13.
Madrigals, Book 8: Dolcissimo uscignolo by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1638; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 41 Secs. 
14.
Madrigals, Book 8: Ardo, avvampo, mi struggo by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1638; Italy 
Length: 4 Minutes 18 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 renaissance elegance May 31, 2012 By clifton b. (Baltimore, MD) See All My Reviews "The Concerto Italiano delivers sensitive, well performed listening in this set of Monteverdi's Madrigals. " Report Abuse
 Book Eight Not Complete May 2, 2012 By E. Barnes (Dunn Loring, VA) See All My Reviews "Here's a caveat to those who hoped to get a complete set of Concerto Italiano's Monteverdi: This set apparently contains the first three books mentioned in their entirety, but not Libro 8, not the Eighth Book. Apparently only the first disc of an earlier-released three-disc set of Libro 8 comes with the present set, Gosh knows why. Since many of us would be interested in hearing the whole Libro 8 (it is quite revolutionary), you may be disappointed when you get the set. Also, there are other recordings of Monteverdi works (not madrigals, mostly) that are, of course, not contained in this set (but that's not as surprising, given the title of the set, "Madrigali."

On the other hand, lots of reviewers say this group does the best job of performing the music at hand, so for those who want to taste without surrendering a lot of your hard-earned, this may be a great way to do it.

If the fine folks at Archivmusic feel my characterization of this set is inaccurate, they are certainly welcome to correct me, and I thank them in advance."
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