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Amanti, Io Vi So Dire

Belanger / Angers
Release Date: 03/08/2011 
Label:  Stradivarius   Catalog #: 33877   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alessandro PiccininiBenedetto FerrariBellerofonte CastaldiGirolamo Viviani
Performer:  Michel AngersPeggy Belanger
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 59 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



AMANTI, IO VI SÒ DIRE Peggy Bélanger (sop); Michel Angers (thb) STRADIVARIUS 33877 (58:55 Text and Translation)


This is a nice little disc of short arias and instrumental dances by four Baroque Italian composers with whom I have had little contact in the past. The bulk of the works are by Benedetto Ferrari ( c. 1603–81) and Alessandro Piccinini (1566–1639), the former mostly a vocal composer and the later a lutenist, who wrote a rather Read more substantial treatise on his instrument about 1623. To round out the disc are an aria by Bellerfonte Castaldi (1580–1649) and a passacaglia by Girolamo Viviani, of whom almost nothing is known, save for a single date in a manuscript that can either be read 1631 or 1691.


The style of the vocal music consists of poetic settings of arias or small cantatas done in the early 17th-century bel canto style, with fluid melodies, the remnant of ornamentation left from the even earlier stile nuovo of Giulio Caccini or Jacopo Peri, and a subtle yet intimate accompaniment by the lute or theorbo. There are the usual odd twists of harmony, such as in the opening “Amanti, io vi sò dire” or the nicely descriptive “Amor tu mi ribello,” but this is pleasant music that reflects the mostly diatonic style of the period. Pietro della Valle’s 1640 comment that the music came first before the poetry could easily apply here, as the lines are so fluid, even languid, that topical verses would fit easily. It is social music that is both entertaining and expressive, but without special effects such as counterpoint or special madrigalistic word-painting. Ferrari, whose career ended after 1662, was acknowledged a great theorbo player even in old age, but when he attempted to regain his title as maestro di cappella at Modena, he was dismissed as “old and tedious,” ageism if one ever recognizes it. The nice set of dances interspersed between the vocal music are mostly by Piccinini, whose only work, a set of tablature dances, was printed in 1623. They are solid pieces, meant not for dancing but entertainment. Castaldi’s work is competent but not groundbreaking; as a wealthy merchant, he apparently did not have to work and thus was able to be seen as an amateur with some talent. His sole capriccio seems old-fashioned but fits in well with the Piccinini.


The performances by Canadian soprano Peggy Bélanger and her colleague Michel Angers are excellent. She has a crystal-clear voice, uses the ornamentation with nice nuances, and phrases her work well. Angers never overshadows her in the vocal music, and in the dances allows for a nice sense of rhythm as well. My favorite is the Piccinini gagliarda, but all of the movements are done with confidence and a good sense of tempo. If you wish to have a disc that displays the Florentine Camerata’s notion of the expression of words without excess passion, then you could hardly find a better set of works. This really is a good disc to have in one’s early Baroque collection.


FANFARE: Bertil van Boer
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Works on This Recording

1. Corrente prima by Alessandro Piccinini
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 1 Minutes 36 Secs. 
2. Amanti, io vi so dire, for voice & continuo by Benedetto Ferrari
Performer:  Peggy Belanger (), Michel Angers (Theorbo)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 5 Minutes 12 Secs. 
3. Toccata for lute No 6 by Alessandro Piccinini
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
4. O monumenti apritevi, for voice & continuo (Musiche e poesie varie, Boook 3) by Benedetto Ferrari
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo), Peggy Belanger ()
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1641 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 2 Minutes 17 Secs. 
5. Torni al lido il nocchiero, for voice & continuo by Benedetto Ferrari
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo), Peggy Belanger ()
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
6. Partite variate sopra l'Alemania for lute by Alessandro Piccinini
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 5 Minutes 14 Secs. 
7. Corrente No. 6 for theorbo by Benedetto Ferrari
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
8. Udite, amanti, la mia bella donna, for voice & continuo by Benedetto Ferrari
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo), Peggy Belanger ()
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 7 Minutes 16 Secs. 
9. Un bocconcino di fantasia, for theorbo by Bellerofonte Castaldi
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 16th Century 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
10. M'amo tanto costei by Benedetto Ferrari
Performer:  Peggy Belanger (), Michel Angers (Theorbo)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 3 Minutes 37 Secs. 
11. Toccata 4, for lute (from Intavolatura di Liuto) by Alessandro Piccinini
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 1 Minutes 17 Secs. 
12. Amor, io mi ribello, for voice & continuo by Benedetto Ferrari
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo), Peggy Belanger ()
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 4 Minutes 38 Secs. 
13. Amor tu m'hai pur colto, for voice & continuo (Musiche e poesie varie, Boook 3) by Benedetto Ferrari
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo), Peggy Belanger ()
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1641 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 4 Minutes 24 Secs. 
14. Passacaglia, for theorbo by Girolamo Viviani
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 4 Minutes 8 Secs. 
15. Deggio amarvi, for voice & continuo (Musiche e poesie varie, Boook 3) by Benedetto Ferrari
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo), Peggy Belanger ()
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1641 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 3 Minutes 49 Secs. 
16. Gagliarda No. 3 (from Intavolatura di Liuto, Book 2) by Alessandro Piccinini
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 1 Minutes 26 Secs. 
17. Io v'amo e v'amerò, for voice & continuo (Musiche e poesie varie, Boook 3) by Benedetto Ferrari
Performer:  Michel Angers (Theorbo), Peggy Belanger ()
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1641 
Venue:  Eupilio (LC), San Vincenzo / Piuro (SO), 
Length: 3 Minutes 34 Secs. 

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