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Il Pastor Fido / Cantus Colln, Konrad Junghänel

Release Date: 06/05/2008 
Label:  Dhm Deutsche Harmonia Mundi Catalog #: 77240   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Heinrich Schütz
Conductor:  Konrad Junghänel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantus Cölln
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"G. Battista Guarini was a late 16th century poet who entered the services of the d'Este Dukes of Ferrara in 1567. In 1579 he replaced Tasso as court poet on Tasso's loss of sanity and subsequent incarceration. Guarini composed the majority of his verses in the 8 years following this appointment. His fame as a poet rests mainly on his poetic drama 'Il Pastor Fido', the prototype of the classical pastoral tragi-comedy. It was published in 1590 and received its first performances in 1596. The plot is set in Arcadia and involves the trials and tribulations of two pairs of lovers and two villains.

The drama served as a major source of madrigal and monody texts for composers writing between 1591 and 1626. The last known
Read more setting of Guarini's work seems to be from 1678. In total over 125 composers wrote around 550 madrigals based on Guarini's work. The extant printed madrigals and monodies use over one-fifth of the entire text of 'Il Pastor Fido'.

Faced with such a bewildering number of madrigals to choose from, Konrad Junghänel and Cantus Cölln have assembled this attractive programme of 18 madrigals from 14 different composers. One area not covered in the booklet, is whether the composers represented on this disc could be said to share some quality as a result of their choosing to set Guarini's texts. The concept behind the CD rather invites this sort of speculation, but realistically this is something for an academic thesis. Our main concern lies with the performances of the music.

Cantus Cölln were formed in 1987 by the lutenist Konrad Junghänel and has subsequently developed into one of the most exciting groups on the early music scene. This recording comes from quite early on in their recording career. All the singers are fine soloists in their own right and the group specialises in a sound in which the different performers retain their identity rather than producing a homogenised sound.

The disc contains a variety of types of madrigal; monody, homophonic madrigals and more complex polyphonic ones. I found the madrigals that worked the best were the homophonic ones...

This is... an attractive programme, in the main stylishly sung. The majority of items involve most of the members of the group, though David Cordier (countertenor) and Gerd Türk contribute attractive solo items (Domenico Maria Melli's 'Io moro e consolato' and Claudio Saracini's 'Udite lagrimosi spirti d'Averno). Cordier and Johanna Koslowsky (Soprano) charm in their duet, 'Ah dolente partita' by Stefano Barnardi and Gerd Türk and Wilfried Jochens (Tenors) sing Alessandro Grandi's lovely 'Udite labrimosi spirti d'Averno'. This is one of the 3 items which duplicate texts. It makes a fascinating exercise seeing how the different composers tackle the same or similar texts...This is an attractive programme, full of items which are insufficiently recorded...I urge you to try it and see for your self."

-- Robert Hugill, MusicWeb International Review of DHM 77853
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Works on This Recording

Il primo libro de madrigali, Op. 1: O primavera, SWV 1 by Heinrich Schütz
Conductor:  Konrad Junghänel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantus Cölln
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Il primo libro de madrigali, Op. 1: Selve beate, se sospirando, SWV 3 by Heinrich Schütz
Conductor:  Konrad Junghänel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantus Cölln
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1611; Venice, Italy 

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