Notes & Reviews:
Gesualdo's Fourth Book of Madrigals contains some of the most inspired and anguished vocal works in the entire madrigal repertoire, written while the composer was tormented by remorse after the murder of his wife and her lover. This collection is filled with technical innovation and extremes of expressiveness in its setting of highly dramatic texts. Unexpected dissonance, harmonic twists and elusive asymmetries all serve to dismantle the compositional rules of the period. Previous volumes in this series have been widely acclaimed. The Guardian described Book 2 (8.570549) as having "great beauty and lyrical force". The unconventional yet impassioned interpretations by Delitiæ Musicæ and Marco Longhini are seen as an important element in the regeneration of Italian Renaissance and Baroque music. The ensemble is under exclusive contract to Naxos for the fourteen-CD collection of the Complete Madrigals by Monteverdi and now for the six-CD collection of Complete Madrigals by Gesualdo.
Stylish, convincing, profound and lovely performances. Buy it!
American Record Guide, November/December 2012
The initial reviews for books 1-3 recorded by Delitiae Musicae have noted both the ensemble's sensitivity to the texts and ability to expressively color each madrigal (Sept/Oct 2010, May/June & Nov/Dec 2011). But as Mr Barker noted in his review of Book 2, the countertenors are a weak link, because pieces often need to be transposed downward. I would add that their lack of clear diction hinders the appreciation of the texts. So I still recommend the recording with mixed voices of Book 4 by La Venexiana (Jan/Feb 2001), even though it may lack some of the dramatic intensity of this new release. I have not heard the Ensemble Arte Musica, but I would trust Catherine Moore's assessment that it is disappointing (Sept/Oct 2008). The two overviews of Gesual- do recordings by Moore in Jan/Feb 2006 and Jan/Feb 2010 are useful.
Recording information: Chiesa di San Pietro in Vincoli, Azzago, Verona, Italy (07/20/2009-07/24/2009).
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Works DetailsGesualdo, Carlo : Madrigals, Book 4
- Conductor: Marco Longhini
- Ensemble: Delitiae Musicae
- Notes: Chiesa di San Pietro in Vincoli, Azzago, Verona, Italy (07/20/2009-07/24/2009)
- Running Time: 5 min. sec.
- Period Time: Renaissance
- Form: Choral
- Written: 1596