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Track(s) taken from CDA68019

Ohimè, dov'è il mio ben, dov'è il mio core?, SV140

Madrigals, Book 7
author of text

Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen (conductor), Katherine Watson (soprano), Anna Dennis (soprano)
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: 5 minutes 14 seconds

Cover artwork: Flora (1559, detail) by Jan Massys (1509-1575)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'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)

'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
A heartfelt sense of loss is conveyed in the poem Ohimè, dov’è il mio ben, dov’è il mio core? by Bernardo Tasso, father of the more famous Torquato. Tasso was a diplomat, and this is one of the stanze di lontananza written when he was parted from his wife by the call of duty. Monteverdi set this stanza, an eight-line text (ottava rima), as four variations for two voices over the so-called Romanesca bass, one of several such basses used in the sixteenth century for improvising musical settings of ottave. Each variation sets a pair of lines.

Ohimè, dov’è il mio ben was published in Monteverdi’s Seventh Book, which contains many other solos, duets and trios, smaller textures made possible by the inclusion of an independent instrumental accompaniment improvised from a single bass line.

from notes by John Whenham © 2014

Un regret sincère charrie Ohimè, dov’è il mio ben, dov’è il mio core?, le poème de Bernardo Tasso (père de Torquato, plus célèbre). Cet homme était diplomate et nous avons là une des stanze di lontananza écrites à sa femme quand le devoir l’éloigna d’elle. Monteverdi traduit ce huitain (ottava rima) en quatre variations pour deux voix par-dessus une basse dite Romanesca—une de ces basses utilisées au XVIe siècle pour improviser sur des ottave. Chaque variation met en musique un distique.

Ohimè, dov’è il mio ben figure dans le Livre 7 aux côtés de nombreux autres solos, duos et trios, les textures moindres étant rendues possibles par l’inclusion d’un accompagnement instrumental indépendant, improvisé à partir d’une ligne de basse unique.

extrait des notes rédigées par John Whenham © 2014
Français: Hypérion

Ein anderes, jedoch nicht weniger tief empfundenes Verlustgefühl stellt sich in dem Gedicht Ohimè, dov’è il mio ben, dov’è il mio core? von Bernardo Tasso ein, Vater des berühmteren Torquato. Tasso war Diplomat und hierbei handelt es sich um eine seiner stanze di lontananza, die er schrieb, als er aufgrund seines Dienstes von seiner Frau getrennt war. Monteverdi vertonte diese achtzeilige Strophe (ottava rima) als vier Variationen für zwei Stimmen über dem sogenannten Romanesca-Bass: einer von mehreren derartigen Bässen, die im 16. Jahrhundert zur Improvisation musikalischer Vertonungen von ottave verwandt wurden. In jeder Variation erklingen jeweils zwei Zeilen.

Ohimè, dov’è il mio ben erschien in Monteverdis 7. Madrigalbuch, in dem sich zahlreiche weitere Solostücke, Duette und Trios befinden—kleinere Besetzungen, die durch die Hinzufügung einer unabhängigen, aus einer einzelnen Basslinie heraus improvisierten Instrumentalbegleitung ermöglicht wurden.

aus dem Begleittext von John Whenham © 2014
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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