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Track(s) taken from CDA68019


from Canzoni overo sonate concertate, published in 1637; possibly inspired by Monteverdi's Zefiro torno

Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen (conductor)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
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: 3 minutes 4 seconds

Cover artwork: Flora (1559, detail) by Jan Massys (1509-1575)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Ballo: Volgendo il ciel – Movete al mio bel suon
Ciaccona  [3'04]

Other recordings available for download

His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts


'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

'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

'Un florilège aussi hétéroclite aurait pu inviter le jeune collectif à une interprétation foisonnante et inventive. Au contraire, tout se ressemble. Jonathan Cohen fait partout ressurgir les mêmes procédés, les mêmes couleurs, les mêmes limites techniques. Pourtant. tout oppose, dans l'inspiration, la forme et l'écriture, la funèbre Sestina du Livre VI de 1614, le Combattimento vénitien de 1624, les madrigaux concertants de 1619 et Volgendo il ciel, festif ballet de 1638 à la gloire de l’empereur Ferdinand.

Les voix ne parviennent ni à séduire, ni à convaincre. Le vibrato systématique des deux sopranos, à la vocalisation poussive, rebute. Katherine Watson défigure les ultimes interventions—si sublimes—de Clorinde, dont on ne peut ici imaginer qu'elle est en train d'expirer ni que son âme rejoint le ciel. De fait, cette quarante-troisième gravure du Combattimento encombre une discographie déjà pléthorique. Même le grand James Gilchrist y parait à son désavantage : son Testo plus élégiaque que théâtral ne réussit à imprimer ni la profondeur tragique du texte, ni la violence inhérente au stile concitato. Tout aussi décevant, le pourtant fabuleux Hor ch'el ciel s'enlise dans sa seconde partie en raison d'un tempo trop mou et de l'indélicatesse du ténor solo, incapable d’apporter l'élan et l'amplets de souffle nécessaires à l’apothéose finale. De même. Volgendo il ciel ballo autrefois magnifié par Gardiner et son Monteverdi Choir.

(Diapason, France)

Other albums featuring this work

His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts Grand Tour
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