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'Gesualdo' - works inspired by the music of Carlo Gesualdo. Brett Dean: 'Carlo' (1997); Erkki-Sven Tuur: L'ombra di Gesualdo; Psalmody / Tallinn CO; Estonian Phil. Chamber Choir

Album Summary

>Gesualdo, Carlo : Moro, lasso, al mio duolo
>Dean, Brett : Carlo, for strings, sampler & tape
>Gesualdo, Carlo : O crux benedicta
>Tüür, Erkki-Sven : L'Ombra della croce, for string orchestra
>Tüür, Erkki-Sven : Psalmody, for chorus & orchestra
Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This absorbing project finds Australian composer Brett Dean and Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür drawing inspiration in very different ways from the music, life and times of Carlo Gesualdo and juxtaposes these reflections with Gesualdo's own music.

The music of Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa (1566-1613) has exerted a powerful influence on composers down the ages. His highly-charged, mannerist, idiosyncratic vocal music constitutes "a gallery of dramatically-lit portraits of human emotions with a heavy emphasis on the extremes of joy and despair" (to quote former Hilliard Ensemble singer Gordon Jones).

Brett Dean's 'Carlo' (composed 1997) begins with pure Gesualdo from the 6th Book of Madrigals, then gradually enters a very 20th century sound-world. Through use of both sampled and real-time voices as well as increasingly intense strings Dean paints an hallucinatory picture of the Prince of Verona's state of mind as he is driven toward his violent crimes of passion (he murdered his wife and her lover when he caught them in flagrante delicto) .

Erkki Sven Tüür's 'L'Ombra di Gesualdo' references the Gesualdo motet 'O crux benedicta' from the Cantiones sacrae, and Gesualdo's piece is also heard in an arrangement for strings by Tüür. The programme is completed by Tüür's 'Psalmody', which is without a Gesualdo-inspired subtext but it too cross-references older and newer music, within the narrower time-frame of Tüür's own oeuvre.

The Guardian, 25th September 2015
This aptly angst-filled album conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste includes stylish string arrangements of Gesualdo's vocal music, plus related works by Brett Dean and Erkki-Sven Tüür...The Estonians capture the dark psyche [of the Dean] without overdoing it; most chilling is how they evoke glassy loneliness in hushed moments.

Gramophone Magazine, November 2015
Both Kaljuste's orchestra and his instinct are good ones; the insistent suspensions of Gesualdo's vocal writing - not so much sliding as grinding over one another - translate beautifully for strings, muted and thickly scored in close imitation of a viol consort.

New York Times, 25th November 2015
In Mr. Tuur's "Psalmody" (1993/2011), a minimalist instrumental part blends to intriguing effect with the Renaissance-inspired choral line.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: The Tallinn Methodist Church (02/2014).



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Works Details

>Gesualdo, Carlo : Moro, lasso, al mio duolo
  • Conductor: Tönu Kaljuste
  • Ensemble: Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
  • Running Time: 4 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Form: Choral
  • Written: 1611

>Dean, Brett : Carlo, for strings, sampler & tape
  • Conductor: Tönu Kaljuste
  • Ensemble: Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 20 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1997

>Gesualdo, Carlo : O crux benedicta
  • Conductor: Tönu Kaljuste
  • Ensemble: Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 4 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Renaissance
  • Written: 1603

>Tüür, Erkki-Sven : L'Ombra della croce, for string orchestra
  • Conductor: Tönu Kaljuste
  • Ensemble: Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 6 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 2014

>Tüür, Erkki-Sven : Psalmody, for chorus & orchestra
  • Conductor: Tönu Kaljuste
  • Ensemble: Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
  • Running Time: 22 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2012