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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67225
Recording details: June 2000
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Antony Howell & Julian Millard
Release date: March 2001
Total duration: 11 minutes 21 seconds

'An excellent release … Robin Blaze’s clear, pure countertenor is the ideal voice for these pieces, and he sings them with impressive authority. Pick of the month' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The intrinsic qualities of this little-explored repertoire and Blaze’s musicianship mark this as an important release' (American Record Guide)

'Blaze is at his most impassioned and convincing … this disc will add to our understanding and love of this treasure house' (International Record Review)

'It is a rare thing to reach the end of a long program like this wanting more, yet that’s exactly what happened to me in this instance. All readers are urged to investigate a remarkable disc that is assured of being an exceptionally strong contender for the Want List' (Fanfare, USA)

'Robin Blaze has justifiably moved quickly into the elite of counter-tenors. Not only is he convincing vocally but his interpretative instincts are sound' (Cathedral Music)

'I would recommend this disc to anyone with a love for baroque vocal music' (MusicWeb International)

'An appealing concert of Venetian sacred music … as always with Hyperion, gorgeous sound' (Early Music)

Iam moriar, mi fili 'Pianto della Madonna'
composer
1641; Selva morale, Venice
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Monteverdi’s Pianto della Madonna is a strange and problematic work. It is a contrafactum of the famous ‘Lamento d’Arianna’ from the otherwise lost opera Arianna of 1608, and was published in 1641 with most of Monteverdi’s later church music in the large collection Selva morale. It is not clear who made the adaptation: the Latin text, the lament of Mary at the foot of the Cross, is sometimes closer to Italian than Latin, and shows signs of having been written to fit the existing music – a common procedure at the time. It is difficult to envisage a liturgical function for the piece, though if it was performed in church it would have been sung by a man, as in this recording. We know from a description of Arianna that the original lament was performed with strings, which I have taken as a hint that a string ritornello articulated the main sections. Unfortunately, the ritornello does not survive, so I have taken the liberty of borrowing a suitable one from Monteverdi’s opera Il ritorno d’Ulisse.

from notes by Peter Holman © 2001

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