A little piece of history
David Gary Roberts | Oakland, CA USA | 08/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Funny how things connect together. I first heard of Monteverdi's music 30 years ago while reading Steinbeck's "Cannery Row" - the hero, Doc, owns some beloved 78's. Many years later, after aquiring a love of Monteverdi's madrigals, I found this CD - could they be the very same recordings that Steinbeck wrote into his wonderful novel? Indeed they are! The original 78's were recorded long before the modern obsession with "authentic" period style perfomance, and were, I think, the first recordings made of the music of this composer, hitherto neglected for centuries. This is no exercise in musical archaeology. Despite the "historic" (1937) recording quality, this is living, breathing music making of exceptional inspiration and perennial freshness. It is an essential recording for any lover of Monteverdi's music, demonstrating the strength of his musical ideas and their ability to transcend currently accepted performance styles. In addition, the Brahms and Schubert are a delightful bonus."