Notes and Editorial Reviews
Before they have even finished the set of Monteverdi’s published books of madrigals, La Venexiana has begun another set (as suggested by the title “Gesualdo Edition”), one that fills a bigger gap in the catalog. Like the Monteverdi set, a single disc first appeared of the Fourth Book (24:3), which we can expect to see reissued with a new number corresponding to this series. Angelo Ephrikian’s old set on Arcophon was reissued on Musical Heritage Society, Telefunken, Amadeo, Harmonia Mundi France, and Rivo Alto (the last a CD set still available), but if Anthony Rooley or Wolfgang Fromme ever planned a complete set, neither seems to have recorded more than the last two books (Francesco Cera’s Fourth Book never came this way). So this project
is long overdue, for Ephrikian’s set was hardly stylish when it was made in 1968 and quickly lost whatever favor it may have initially won. The present ensemble ranks with the finest of the new Italian early-music groups, elegant in style, varied in expression, lovely in vocal sound.
The notes begin with the question of the date of composition. The 1611 print claimed that the madrigals had been written 15 years earlier, which would place their origin in Ferrara, but commentators have tended to place them in the tormented years after he returned to Naples. The earlier date, of course, would serve to establish the composer’s priority in the Mannerist style that flourished around the turn of the century, his originality against imitators. (These same points were made in the notes to Rooley’s version of this book, in which the growth in style over the Fourth Book is minimized.) These madrigals remain astonishingly expressive, as Cavina demonstrates at every turn. Highly recommended.
J. F. Weber, FANFARE
Works on This Recording
Madrigals, Book 5 by Carlo Gesualdo
Daniele Carnovich (Bass),
Sandro Naglia (Tenor),
Rossana Bertini (Soprano),
Giuseppe Maletto (Tenor),
Valentina Coladonato (Soprano),
Claudio Cavina (Countertenor)
Written: by 1611; Italy
Length: 64 Minutes 15 Secs.
Notes: Church, Cuceglio, Turin, Italy (06/2004)
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