Notes & Reviews:
Armonia Celeste specializes in rarely heard repertoire from the Italian Renaissance and early Baroque. The three singers and two period instrumentalists create an unforgettable combination of varied vocal and instrumental colors, florid ornamentation, expressiveness, and a noticeable passion for this repertoire. Since 2008 the ensemble has offered many concerts around the country, and appeared in, and provided music for, an educational documentary entitled "Culture Wars of Venice and the Birth of Public Opera." Their new Centaur release, Lovers, Beware! was recorded in 2012.
American Record Guide, September/October 2015
Luigi Rossi's 'Udite Amanti' (Lovers, Beware), title track of the first disc here, sets the tone as three female singers caution (and entertain) courtly aristocrats about the dangers of love. Towards the middle of the 17th Century, the Barberini family court in Rome numbered Pope Urban VIII, his nephews (two cardinals and a prince), and many of the city's top musicians and composers. There are nice vocal depictions, such as by mezzo Dianna Grabowski in Carissimi's 'Crudo Amore' and Tenaglia's 'Io Per Me'; and all three singers carry the day in their roles in Carissimi's 'Siam Tre Miseri'. This approach does fit the music's genesis as elegant courtly art that is not meant to fray the nerves but to delight the audience and show the refinement and excellence of the Barberini.