Notes and Editorial Reviews
Madrigals, Book 6
Claudio Cavina, dir; La Venexiana (period instruments)
GLOSSA 920926 (71:58
Text and Translation)
In a recent review of Books 5 and 6 (32:6), the madrigals of both books were noted as the fastest known performances, with a direct comparison to Claudio Cavina’s Book 5. Now that his long-overdue Book 6 has arrived in the U.S., it is worth noting that the other set is over 11 minutes faster than Cavina’s, a difference even more extreme than in Book 5.
Cavina has now recorded, in the course of nine years, the complete nine books of Monteverdi’s madrigals, as already noted in detail (32:2), and the result is a superb traversal of the composer’s secular (non-operatic) music. The unfolding series has been greeted warmly here as each installment appeared. To be sure, a number of other recordings of single books and single madrigals have won praise, for there is no monopoly on excellence here, at least in recent years. But Cavina has the advantage of completeness as well as excellence, and the uniform packaging from the Glossa label adds a tangible element of elegance to the fine interpretation, singing, and engineering that has distinguished this series from the beginning. The notes for this disc are full of insights that reveal new understandings of the texts. This is a disc worth hearing and a complete series worth acquiring.
Of the published books of Monteverdi’s secular works, Book 6 is the one most often recorded as a set:
Giovanni Antonellini, LP: RCA Victor LSC 7035—issued 1965
Anthony Rooley (rec. 1989), Virgin 91154 and 59605 (14:4)
Giovanni Acciai (rec. 1992), Nuova Era 7165 (18:2)
Rinaldo Alessandrini (rec. 1992), Arcana 66 (17:5)
Raffaello Monterosso (rec. 1993), Capriole 1006
Marco Longhini (rec. 2003), Naxos 8.555312 (31: 2)
Claudio Cavina (rec. 2004), Glossa 920926—herewith
Rinaldo Alessandrini (rec. 2005), Naïve 30423 (30:1)
Krijn Koetsveld (rec. 2008), Brilliant 93799 (31:6)
The four most recent recordings each have some claim to the listener’s affection, as does Rooley, but each of the five is a bit different from the rest, as indicated in the original reviews. Cavina wins my affection on balance.
FANFARE: J. F. Weber
Works on This Recording
Madrigals, Book 6 by Claudio Monteverdi
Written: by 1614; Italy
Date of Recording: 06/2004
Venue: BVM of Mt Carmel Church, Colletto, Italy
Length: 71 Minutes 58 Secs.
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