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La Voce Di Orfeo / Eguez, Zanasi, La Chimera, Et Al


Release Date: 06/30/2009 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 8925   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Pietro BenedettiGiulio CacciniSigismondo D'IndiaEduardo Egüez,   ... 
Performer:  Furio ZanasiFrançois Fernandez
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A magnificent recording and an impressive demonstration of recitar cantando.
 
This disc is devoted to Francesco Rasi, one of Italy's most famous singers around 1600. He was born into an aristocratic family and early on determined to become a professional musician. And that wasn't easy at that time. In his programme notes Philippe Canguilhem writes: "Rasi represents an instance - frequent at the time - of the musician of noble descent cursed with a disturbed, restless character, the consequence of a veritable existential schizophrenia: (...) Rasi was torn between
Read more his prodigious musical gifts, which gained him a reputation at court and the appreciation of the prince [The Duke of Mantua], and the desire to assert his aristocratic status, which for him was incompatible with exercising his art in the same way as a professional musician whose connection with the prince was one of servile dependence." From this he explains Rasi's urge to travel as this was a way to distinguish himself from the ordinary musician who didn't have the opportunity to travel at will.
 
Rasi's reputation as a singer was such that he participated in many opera performances in the first decade of the 17th century. He, for instance, sang in the first performances of the very first opera in history, Jacopo Peri's Euridice, in 1600. In that same year he sang in the opera 'Il rapimento di Cefalo' by Giulio Caccini, who had also been his singing teacher. It is very likely he also realised the title role in the first performance of Monteverdi's opera Orfeo in 1607. The next year he sang in Monteverdi's 'Arianna' and in 'Dafne' by Marco da Gagliano. During his whole career he travelled through Italy, but also visited the Low Countries, Prague and Salzburg. In 1610 he was sentenced in Tuscany to be hung, drawn and quartered for the murder of his stepmother's servant. But his reputation was such that he got away with it, thanks in particular to the protection of the Gonzagas who let him flee to Turin.
 
Rasi not only acted as a singer, but published his own poems, and he also wrote music. His only opera has been lost, but a number of monodies, written in the style of Caccini, have been preserved. Some of them have been recorded here.
 
The disc is divided into three sections each of which is introduced by a Sinfonia, written by the director of La Chimera, Eduardo Egüez, in the musical language of the time. In the first part we hear two pieces by Caccini, who claimed to have laid the foundations of the seconda prattica. Also in this part is a madrigal by Sigismondo D'India, one of the most important composers in that style. Like Rasi he was a nobleman, born in Palermo at Sicily. He has become mainly known for his monodies, but he also composed madrigals, motets and villanellas.
 
The first vocal piece of this disc is by Benedetto Ferrari who was nicknamed 'della tiorba', a reference to the instrument he played. In his time the monody was an established phenomenon and well past its experimental stage. The inclusion of his aria 'Io son amante di un crin aurato' is a bit odd as Francesco Rasi had already died when Ferrari's music began to be printed. But then, this disc doesn't pretend to offer music which Rasi could actually have sung himself. It just gives some idea of the kind of music which was performed at his time in which he played such an important role.
 
The second section revolves around the character of Orpheus. It is Rasi's likely performance of the role of Orfeo in Monteverdi's opera which has given this disc its title: "The voice of Orpheus". Two extracts from this opera are surrounded by pieces by d'India, Caccini and Rasi himself, as well as the long monody 'Che vegg'io ohimè' by Sigismondo d'India. One might compare this with recitative as we know it from the opera of the late baroque. It is written in free style, and the singer should strictly follow the rhythm of the text rather than that of the music. It is of utmost importance to sing this work in a highly declamatory style which permits expression of every emotional shade in the text. This is what Caccini called recitar cantando, speech-like singing. Furio Zanasi's performance is a brilliant demonstration of what that means.
 
The third section is devoted to "impossible love and the sufferings it causes". An example is the poem by Ottavio Rinuccini, 'Sfogava con le stelle', set to music by many composers, but here recited by Giulio Casati: "One sick from love, under the night sky, poured out his grief to the stars".
 
This section also contains Eduardo Egüez's diminutions on Josquin's famous chanson 'Mille regretz', which are included as a tribute to Rasi in his capacity as a player of the chitarrone. The disc ends with a setting of 'Non havea Febo ancora', known from the famous setting of Monteverdi. We get here the version of Antonio Brunelli, an interesting contemporary of Rasi whose music hasn't really been explored yet. This setting is very different from Monteverdi's and quite surprising, but I'm not going to give the details here.
 
This whole disc is an impressive demonstration of what exactly recitar cantando means. Any performer who wants to sing (or play) Italian music from the early 17th century should listen to this and learn from it. Every detail in the text is expressed, all affetti are explored to the full. Furio Zanasi does not have the sort of voice that immediately appeals to me, but the way he uses it to express the text and all the emotions it carries is just amazing and gripping. A singer must always tell a story, and that is exactly what Zanasi is doing here in a most impressive way. How nice it is to hear a singer who understands the variety of the ornamentation composers like Caccini required from their singers and who is actually able to apply it correctly. And how good to hear a true messa di voce, which was such an important tool of expression.
 
Let us not forget the players: they follow Zanasi every step of the way, and underline the text with inflections in tempo and dynamics. The various instruments are also used in a most appropriate manner, thus underlining the character of every single piece.
 
In short, this is a magnificent recording which I can't praise highly enough. I already know for sure that this disc is going to be one of my discs of the year.
 
-- Johan van Veen, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Fillia mia, Filli dolce (Madrigali di diversi autori posti in musica dal S. Francesco Rasi nobile ar by Pietro Benedetti
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
2.
Amor l'ali m'impenna by Giulio Caccini
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1614; Italy 
Length: 1 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
3.
Le musiche, book 1: Vorrei baciarti, o Filli by Sigismondo D'India
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1609; Italy 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
4.
Passamezzo by Eduardo Egüez
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 1 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
5.
Le nuove musiche: Dolcissimo sospiro by Giulio Caccini
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1602; Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
6.
Nuove musiche e nuova maniera de scriverle: Dalla porta d'oriente by Giulio Caccini
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1614; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
7.
Sinfonia by Eduardo Egüez
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
8.
L'Orfeo: Rosa del ciel by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1607; Mantua, Italy 
Length: 2 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
9.
E si lieto il mio core (Madrigali di diversi autori...) by Francesco Rasi
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
10.
In morte di Madonna by Marc' Antonio Gondi
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
11.
Dove misero mai (Madrigali di diversi autori...) by Francesco Rasi
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
12.
L'Orfeo: Solo di arpa by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Length: 1 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
13.
Le musiche, book 1: Cara mia cetra andianne by Sigismondo D'India
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1609; Italy 
Length: 1 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
14.
Vedrò 'l mio sol by Giulio Caccini
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1602; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
15.
Un guardo ohime ch'io moro (Madrigali di diversi autori...) by Francesco Rasi
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
16.
Le musiche, book 4: Che veggio, ohimè, che miro? "Lamento d'Orfeo" by Sigismondo D'India
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1621; Italy 
Length: 7 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
17.
Scherzi musicali, volume 2: Et è pur dunque vero by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1632; Italy 
Length: 5 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
18.
Sfogava con le stelle by Ottavio Rinuccini
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Length: 1 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
19.
Sovente allor (Le musiche...) by Sigismondo D'India
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
20.
Mille regretz by Josquin Des Préz
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
21.
Porto celato il mio nobil pensiero (Ms Torrefranca 250, f. 13-14) by Sigismondo D'India
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1615; Italy 
Length: 3 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
22.
Non havea Febo ancora (Scherzi, arie, canzonette e madrigali a una, due e tre voci... libro secondo, by Antonio Brunelli
Performer:  François Fernandez (Violin), Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 
23.
Io son amante di un crin aurato by Benedetto Ferrari
Performer:  Furio Zanasi (Baritone)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chimera
Period: Baroque 
Length: 4 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: : Giulio Casti. 

Sound Samples

Sinfonia - Musiche varie a voce sola: Io son amante di un crin aurato
Madrigali di diversi autori: Fillia mia, Filli dolce (arr. E. Eguez)
Amor l'ali m'impenna (music: Amor l'ali m'impenna by T. Tasso)
Vorrei baciarti, o Filli
Passamezzo
Dolcissimo sospiro
Dalla porta d'oriente
Sinfonia
L'Orfeo: Act I: Rosa del ciel, vita del mondo e degna
E si lieto il mio core
In morte di Madonna (music: In morte di bella donna by F. Rasi)
Dove misero mai
Harp solo from L'Orfeo: L'Orfeo: Harp solo
Cara mia cetra andianne
Vedro 'l mio sol, vedro prima ch'io muoia
Un guardo, ohime, ch'io moro
Che veggio, ohime, che miro?: Lamento d'Orfeo o Que vegg'io ohime
Sinfonia
Et e pur dunque vero, SV 250: Et e pur dunque vero
Sfogava con le stelle
Sovente all'hor
Mille regretz (arr. E. Eguez)
Porto celato il mio nobil pensiero
Non havea Febo ancora

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