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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDH55165
Recording details: January 1991
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: November 1991
Total duration: 9 minutes 18 seconds

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

Other recordings available for download
Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen (conductor)
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: Madrigals of Love and Loss' (CDA68019)
Monteverdi: Madrigals of Love and Loss
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