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The Full Monteverdi

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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(Jan 29, 2008)
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$17.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Claudio Monteverdi's Fourth Book of Madrigals (1603) explores differing emotional states of abandoned lovers through the most dramatic and amazingly modern music for vocal ensemble. The Full Monteverdi follows the simultaneous break-up of six couples from shocking revelation, vengeful anger and erotic longing for reconciliation, as an ensemble film. Vulnerable and disarming, it will draw you into its emotional journey and intensely moving portrait of contemporary love.

Review

Bouchardière's verité-style direction, reminiscent of Kieslowski in its bold opening silence and unrelenting in emotional delivery, has the makings of an award winner -- Andrew Stewart Early Music Review

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Pano Masti, Alan Mooney, Mark Denham, Katharine Peachey, Anna Skye
  • Directors: John La Bouchardière
  • Writers: John La Bouchardière, Someone abused Tag for attention. Delete
  • Producers: Greg Browning
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Naxos DVD
  • DVD Release Date: January 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000XCTD3K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,701 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Full Monteverdi" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of the problems with listening to sung music on the radio or on CD is that unless one knows the language and can understand the words one loses out on the total experience. The composer has spent much time and effort trying to marry the music to the words; and that is often lost.

That is certainly not a problem with this DVD, "The Full Monteverdi". Not only are there subtitles, but the acting by the whole ensemble leaves one in no doubt as to what is going on: the breaking-up of a relationship can be hell.

The language of the sixteenth century Italian poetry is admittedly flowery and florid, but when married to the music of Monteverdi it becomes a very intense emotional experience. There are six couples (one singer and one actor) in a restaurant, in the throes of disintegrating relationships. The couples do not interact with each other -- they have enough to contend with, but the singing is as an ensemble. The camerawork and editing, along with the occasional flashback and outside scene add considerably to the excellent singing and acting.

I had the mistaken impression that madrigals were about fun and frolic. Not so here. The emotion is raw and intense. But it feels true and it can be cathartic. Who knows, it might also help hold a relationship together.

This is well worth experiencing. Very highly recommended
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Format: DVD
This DVD should come with a warning: Dangerously raw emotional material inside! I felt so emotional after watching five minutes of this DVD I had to have a break. Yes, it is that powerful.

The DVD contains the enture 4th book of madrigal by Claudio Monteverdi, presented in a staged way. Sceptical? Have a look, my friend, and prepare to be astonished.

An intense, emotionally raw and uncompromising look at madrigals - how they work, what they're about, how they might be presented and how important the best are when we want to examine our emotions, motives and well being.

The Full Monteverdi is a film, as the editorial has suggested, and it depicts some very emotional moments between six couples in a modern restaurant. The film was directed by John La Bouchardière and Robert Hollingworth is the musical director of I Fagiolini.
Each member of I Fagiolini is paired with a non-singing actor:
Anna Crookes [soprano] + Pano Masti [actor]
Carys Lane [soprano] + Alan Mooney [actor]
Clare Wilkinson [mezzo-soprano] + Mark Denham [actor]
Nicholas Mulroy [tenor] + Katharine Peachey [actress]
Matthew Brook [baritone] + Anna Skye [actress]
Giles Underwood [bass] + Gina Peach [actress]

The film is based upon stage performances and this really shows - both the singers and actors bring a great depth of experience to each of the madrigals. Monteverdi almost certainly didn't intend the Quarto Libro to be performed as a cycle, but it works remarkably well and it is immensely satisfying to behold and hear. The near silence between each madrigal further charges the emotional atmosphere of this production. The whole thing is a triumph and a brilliant conception.
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The other two reviews of this dvd are excellent and very perceptive. I can't help adding my own two cents, partly because I love this performance and partly because I just finished writing a review for a professional journal.

Even though I had heard good things about the NY live performances, I was skeptical. How does one take polyphony -- even polyphony in which intimate individual feelings are paramount -- and create a theatrical piece, in which a sense of dialogue, of interaction, must be made visual? And how does one come up with a narrative? Book Four is not a madrigal cycle. (There are such things: a group of madrigals intentionally written with a longer narrative arc.)

WARNING: possible spoilers ahead. As the film begins, it is evening. Six pairs of twenty-first-century lovers meet (separately) in an upscale restaurant in some unnamed European city (much later in the film we realize it's London). One by one, the camera introduces us to them: they exchange endearments; they profess undying love; they quarrel; but no one says "It's not you, it's me" or "I think we ought to start seeing other people"--this is florid, take-no-prisoners Italian love poetry. The couples part; they anguish; they make tortured love one last, exquisite time; finally, they separate for good, and in the cold morning light, we see those left behind having their meager breakfasts, alone, at the same restaurant.

One reason it works is that each couple is made up of one singer, one actor. The singers do all the pleading and recriminating, while the actors silently receive their partners' pleas. It's a stroke of theatrical genius. Because this is a film, we also get flashbacks that open up the visuals and provide context or background.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I could go either way on this staged version of Monteverdi's Fourth Book of Madrigals. I could say, sure, watch it once, just for the concept, especially if you've never quite captured the "affect" of late Renaissance poetry and music about love. Or I could say, avoid it at all costs, since the music is oddly truncated - polyphony stripped to one voice! - and the singing scarcely competes with what's available on CD from ensembles like La Venexiana and the Consort of Musicke. And the acting by the singers... either very impressive sincerity from people who really look like you and me, less than mannequin-perfect; or else unleavened dumpiness, cinema so close to verite that it's as false as reality TV.

In any case, I doubt that I'll watch it twice. Let that stand as my advice to rent it, not buy it, if you have an urge to see/hear an interesting experiment.
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