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  • La Pellegrina - Music for the Wedding of Ferdinando De Medici and Christine de Lorraine, Princess of France, Florence 1589
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La Pellegrina - Music for the Wedding of Ferdinando De Medici and Christine de Lorraine, Princess of France, Florence 1589

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Audio CD, November 10, 1998
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The Medici of Florence were renowned for (among other things) the magnificent palazzos and churches they built and the magnificent musical-dramatic entertainments they staged, often known as stravaganze (extravaganzas). The music on this album (first performed as part of the 1589 wedding celebrations for Ferdinando de' Medici) was the apotheosis of the stravaganza, using the most famous--and most expensive--composers, singers, and instrumentalists in Italy with a huge chorus and orchestra and newfangled stage machinery. Among the composers were Luca Marenzio, the greatest madrigalist of the day, and Jacopo Peri and Giulio Caccini, who went on to write the very first operas; the music alternates between pieces in madrigal style (often for two groups of singers in dialogue) and florid, virtuoso showpieces for soloists; there are big complements of lutes and other chord instruments for color, weight, and variety. Re-creating all this is an enormous undertaking, and Paul van Nevel deserves congratulations for bringing it off so successfully (as does Sony for paying for it). The result isn't great music-drama like Monteverdi's Orfeo; it was never intended to be anything but the enjoyable, fabulous spectacle it is. --Matthew Westphal

Disc: 1
1. Dalle più alte sfere, madrigal for soprano & 4 instruments (doubtful)
2. Noi che cantando, à 8
3. Sinfonia à 6 (I) from La Pellegrina (Primo Intermedio: L'armonia delle sfere): Part: from la Pellegrina, Intermedio I
4. Dolcissime sirene, à 6
5. A voi reali amanti, à 15
6. Coppia gentil d'aventurosi amanti, madrigal for 6 voices
7. Sinfonia à 6 (I) from La Pellegrina (Primo Intermedio: L'armonia delle sfere): Part: from la Pellegrina, Intermedio II
8. Belle ne fe natura, villanella for 3 voices (Il primo libro delle villanelle a 3 voci)
9. Chi dal delfino aita, madrigal for 6 voices
10. Se nelle voci nostre, madrigal for 12 voices
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Io che dal ciel cader, madrigal
2. Sinfonia à 6 (I) from La Pellegrina (Primo Intermedio: L'armonia delle sfere): Part: from la Pellegrina, Intermedio IV
3. Or che le due grand' alme, à 6
4. Miseri habitator, à 5
5. Io che l'onde raffreno, à 5
6. E noi con questa bella diva, à 5
7. Sinfonia à 6 (I) from La Pellegrina (Primo Intermedio: L'armonia delle sfere): Part: from la Pellegrina, Intermedio V
8. Dunque fra torbid'onde, madrigal
9. Lieti solcando il mare, à 7
10. Dal vago e bel sereno à 6
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 10, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Columbia Records/Sony
  • ASIN: B00000DI13
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,726 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Weretka on June 19, 2002
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I found this most recent performance of the music for the wedding of Ferdinando de Medici and Christine de Lorraine interesting to compare to the much older recording with Emma Kirkby, Emily van Evera, the Taverner Consort et al (1988). There is absolutely no doubt that the current recording develops many of the themes which the older recording glosses over, including beauty of sound. There is much beautiful singing on the current recording, including an extremely convincing reading of the song of Arion by Stephan Macleod (although Nigel Rogers' singing of this on the 1988 recording is one of the major reasons to own that recording). The major difference between this new recording and the 1988 recording is the understanding of scale -- the old recording conceptualises this is as a large, magnificent series of tableaux while the newer recording very rarely has everyone singing or playing together. For my money, the instrumentation of the old recording is much more varied and colourful as well. Despite the occasionally very ugly vocal sounds and the relatively colourless though nimble singing of Emma Kirbky, the 1988 recording really captures the energy and magnificence of the music. The new recording is just too calculated and light-limbed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel on November 13, 2007
I found this to be another beautiful performance of the "Intermedi" (pagent interludes) of the historic 1589 wedding of Ferdinand de Medici & Christina of Lorraine- without a doubt one of the most beautiful, hard to find and EXPENSIVE classical works ever recorded. It is a masterpiece, and certainly the origin of early opera. I was really lucky to have aquired a rare BBC video performance by the Taverner Consort of the entire work- including authentic costumes based on actual design drawings from the 16th century. Even the Taverner Consort's CD recording of the performance-"Stravaganza de Medici" is almost impossible to find these days(but hope to find it sometime!).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CJ on July 4, 2007
This has got to be, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful works I've ever heard. I've been searching for three years for a CD to purchase and have yet to find one. I often find myself at Carnegie Mellon listening to their copy. Absolutely superb!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1999
On original instruments. Recorded in 20bit this CD is of excellent quality. The piece combines theatre and music (early opera) of a high standard. Any fan of Monteverdi's Sacred vespers will love this.
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