Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Antonio Abete, Salome Haller, Maria Cristina Kiehr|
Monteverdi - Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi / Concerto Köln, Jacobs
You might think that two-and-a-half hours of Monteverdi madrigals would become tiresome or repetitive, but think again: here is a composer whose ability to combine voices and instruments (actually, it?s conductor Rene Ja... more »
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You might think that two-and-a-half hours of Monteverdi madrigals would become tiresome or repetitive, but think again: here is a composer whose ability to combine voices and instruments (actually, it?s conductor Rene Jacobs who, for the most part, has chosen the instruments, which include strings, trombones, cornets, organ, and percussion--brilliantly, colorfully, and dramatically) became greater as he aged, and these are among his latest works. Some pieces are long and dramatic, indeed, operatic: Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda is sung to us by baritone Victor Torres with such urgency that it might be compared with an old Orson Welles radio drama. The subtitle of the collection?"Madrigals of War and Love"--really tells it all; fascinatingly, the warring within a lover?s breast is just as passionate as true battle. The texts, some by such luminaries as Petrarch and Tasso are as worthy as the music, and Monteverdi?s great gift--his ability to wed words to music--is in evidence in all of these works. Emotions run from self-pity to adoration to rage, and Jacobs and his band of singers--every one a virtuoso--make each come to life. Their technical skill, comprising seemingly endless breath, stunning legato, and every embellishment known to the Renaissance and Baroque, is matched by the loveliness and expressive quality of their tone. This is a perfect collection, ravishingly conceived, recorded, and performed. --Robert Levine
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At times, great and at other times...well... er.....
Steven Guy | Croydon, South Australia | 08/27/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First things first.
'Cornet', with a single T, is a perfectly acceptable spelling of the word for the Baroque cornetto - cornett, cornetta, cornèta, Kornett, cornet à bouquin, corno, cornio, Zink, Zinge, Zinggen and Recht Chor-Zink (et cetera) are all historical variations. The spelling with the single T was the original spelling - the double T spelling was adopted in the 20th century to save confusion with the cornett's modern brass band name sake.Okay! So what's this CD like?
Well, its pretty good and much of it is very good. The music is 'orchestrated' with cornet(t)s, trombones, a dulcian and percussion - as well as the violins, viols and continuo mentioned by the composer. Maybe René Jacobs is suggesting that this music might have been performed like this for an aristocratic audience? Maybe, maybe not, however, Monteverdi and/or his publisher only suggest strings and continuo in the instrumental forces needed to perform this music. The cornetts and sackbuts sound splendid in madrigals like 'Altri canti d'Amor' even if their inclusion would have surprised Claudio Monteverdi! The string and continuo groups play very well and very idiomatically.This brings us to the question of the voices used. Some of the singers are simply too operatic in their approach for this kind of music. One of the tenors sings in a highly charged way that would not be out of place in 19th century Italian opera. Bernarda Fink, as usual, uses too much vibrato - more than one would reasonably expect in a modern performance of Mozart or, indeed, Verdi - let alone Monteverdi! However, there is some great singing here, too - Maria Cristina Kiehr is an excellent Monteverdian. When the voices all sing together, as in 'Altri Canti d'Amore', the voices tend to jar and there is little sense of ensemble. We are presented with a group of not terribly compatible soloists singing together rather than a traditional madrigal vocal ensemble. Of course, this is my response to this recording and others may be delighted with this approach. This is the first truly complete L'ottavo libro de madrigali available in one set on two CDs and for that reason it is a worthy introduction to this music.Alessandrini's group and Anthony Rooley's The Consort of Musicke have also recorded these works and I have enjoyed all these different interpretations. Jacobs can be perverse and wayward in his interpretations but he can also make the music sing and dance like no one else. I will continue to enjoy most of his opera recordings and most of this madrigal set."
RENE JACOBS IS AWESOME
G. D. Peterson | San Mateo, CA USA | 03/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rinaldo Alessandrini's Monteverdi is truly impressive, but Rene Jacobs is the great master of this music, and all of Monteverdi."