Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Flora (1559, detail) by Jan Massys (1509-1575)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA68019
Recording details: March 2013
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt & Robert Cammidge
Release date: February 2014
Total duration: 9 minutes 47 seconds

'The latest disc from Jonathan Cohen’s virtuoso ensemble Arcangelo is a musical love story, complete with lovers’ quarrel, tearful partings and tragic endings. Bringing together the Sestinas from Books 6-8 of Monteverdi’s madrigals, the programme explores the gamut of the composer’s mature style, evolving from the crystallised 'prima prattica' perfection of Book 6 to the 'genere concitato' (agitated style) of Book 8. All of Cohen’s singers come from the world of opera, and it shows in performances that place the drama of 'le parole' to the fore. The astonishing harmonic flexibility and melodic narrative of Monteverdi’s writing translates here into urgent drama … among so much vocal athleticism, it’s still the instrumentalists of the ensemble that dominate, setting the disc apart from the excellent I Fagiolini recordings that come closest vocally to this kind of abandon. Sitting midway between the nervous energy of Alessandrini’s Concerto Italiano and the more measured intensity of Jordi Savall for the Book 8 works, Arcangelo’s musicians deploy rough-edged expressive risk-taking within a framework of complete stylistic control' (Gramophone) » More

'These are not easy pieces, but the opening ballet swings along with panache, and there is some excellent tenor solo singing in the first section … the two sopranos in the duet Ohimè, dov'è il mio ben show poise and taste' (BBC Music Magazine) » More
PERFORMANCE
RECORDING

'This is a wonderful disc, presenting Monteverdi the dramatist and the creator of vivid aural pictures. Presented in such vivid recorded sound and by such accomplished musicians, intuitively directed by the excellent Jonathan Cohen, it provides an invaluable and hugely attractive addition to the composer’s already generous representation on disc' (International Record Review) » More

Volgendo il ciel – Movete al mio bel suon, SV154
composer
Madrigals, Book 8, published in 1638
author of text

Other recordings available for download
Red Byrd, The Parley of Instruments
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Book 8—the Madrigali guerrieri et amorosi (‘Warlike and amorous madrigals’) of 1638—is dedicated to the Emperor Ferdinand III. The title-page of states that the collection includes some ‘small works in a theatrical manner’, among them the Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and two ballets. One of these—Volgendo il ciel—may have been sent by Monteverdi to Vienna in 1636 for the coronation of the new emperor. Like all Monteverdi’s ballets, it involves solo and ensemble music for voices as well as instrumental music. The text is by the Florentine poet Ottavio Rinuccini and was originally written in honour of Henry IV of France. For Vienna, various references in the text were changed to suit the new context.

The ballet begins with an instrumental entrata for the dancers, and the Poet sings a prologue, punctuated by the music of the entrata, in which he envisages an age of peace under Ferdinand’s rule. Taking a lyre, he addresses Ferdinand, and then invites the ladies to dance and the nymphs of the Danube (Istro) to join them. They dance first to a chorus, ‘Movete al mio bel suon’, and then to ‘any other dance without song’ (Monteverdi does not supply this) before the second part of ‘Movete al mio bel suon’. Although Monteverdi’s ballet is itself brief, it was probably intended to be performed in the midst of other music, and may have been followed by social dancing.

from notes by John Whenham © 2014


Other albums featuring this work
'Monteverdi: Il ballo delle ingrate & other works' (CDH55165)
Monteverdi: Il ballo delle ingrate & other works
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £5.50 CDH55165  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  

Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
   English   Français   Deutsch