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Monteverdi: Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi Box set, Import

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Audio CD, Box set, Import, March 11, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

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

Disc: 1
1. Altri Canti D'Amore, Tenero Arciero
2. Hor Che 'L Ciel E La Terra E 'L Vento Tace
3. Gira Il Nemico Insidioso Amore
4. Se Vittorie Si Belle
5. Armato Il Cor D'adamantina Fede
6. Ogni Amante E Guerrier: Nel Suo Gran Regno
7. Ardo, Avvampo
8. Il Combattimento Di Tancredi E Clorinda
9. Introdutione Al Ballo E Ballo
10. Altri Canti Di Marte E Di Sua Schiera
Disc: 2
1. Vago Augelletto
2. Mentre Vaga Angioletta
3. Ardo E Scoprir, Ahi Lasso, Io Non Ardisco
4. O Sia Tranquillo Il Mare O Pien D'orgoglio
5. Ninfa Che, Scalza Il Piede
6. Dolcissimo Uscignolo
7. Chi Vol Haver Felice E Lieto Il Core
8. Lamento Della Ninfa. Non Havea Febo Ancora
9. Perche Ten Fuggi, O Fillide
10. Non Partir, Ritrosetta
See all 16 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Performer: Bernarda Fink, John Bowen, Victor Torres, Renaud Delaigue
  • Orchestra: Concerto Vocale
  • Conductor: René Jacobs
  • Composer: Claudio Monteverdi
  • Audio CD (March 11, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • ASIN: B00006L7TB
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,037 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Steven Guy on August 27, 2003
Format: Audio CD
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.
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1 of 50 people found the following review helpful By M. Higgs on April 2, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Though I have not listened to this particular CD of Monteverdi's Madrigali guerrieri et amoroso, I'm certain that cornets, the modern small brass instrument used in marching bands would not be appropriate. A cornett (or cornetti) the Renaissance wind instrument, made of wood and covered in leather, was used by Monteverdi, and would be quite appropriate, and I think that is what is being used in the CD.
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