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Monteverdi Flaming Heart

Madrigals, Book 4 :: Anima mia perdona: Longe da te, cor mio: Luci serene e chiare: Piagne e sospira
Madrigals, Book 5 :: Ahi, com'a un vago sol: Ch'io t'ami e t'ami piu de la mia vita
Madrigals, Book 7 :: Con che soavità, labbra odorate : Parlo, miser'o taccio?: Se pur destina "Partenza amorosa": Tempro la cetra
Madrigals, Book 8 :: Il ballo delle ingrate - Excerpt(s)
L'Orfeo :: Prologue - Dal mio Permesso amato : Sinfonia

I Fagiolini (Director Robert Hollingworth)

Chandos CHAN 0730

Although I should prefer that this magnificent CD had not been so closely linked, by images and in the notes of James Weeks and Robert Hollingworth, to a staged and filmed show towards which I cannot muster any great sympathy, we are bound to acknowledge The Full Monteverdi as having been a vehicle through which some people, who might otherwise have not got round to doing so, have experienced the sound of Monteverdi madrigals.

Excited by actors in dumb play at close quarters, the poetry of Arlotti, Guarini, Tasso (& their versatile colleague "Anonimo") will have passed them by, but they'll have had a stimulating evening out and may have acquired the related DVD, which does carry the texts as subtitles.

They must all be urged to purchase this superb CD too. It contains several of the same madrigals from Monteverdi's 4th Book, with a selection of the composer's other chamber music for voices and instruments, and fortunately heralds a projected series which we wish well. The sequence makes for a marvellous concert and I guess many purchasers will be so entranced as to let it play straight through its 76 minutes, though I would recommend a break before the Orfeo Sinfonia.

Times have changed indeed since Nadia Boulanger introduced many of us to that then strange composer in her haunting 1937 recordings which can be heard on line. The dedication of the I Fagiolini singers to Monteverdi is well known and this rendering of some of his choicest music heralds a new traversal which will be followed with greatest anticipation.

Studio recording, presentation and multi-lingual documentation is superb, with parallel texts and notes expanding to some 50 pages by the use of clear black on white print on thin, stong paper. Congratulations for that to Cassidy Rayne Creative and Finn S. Gunderson.

Recommended unreservedly.

Peter Grahame Woolf

For another opinion of the filmed show close to my own, see Allan Kozinn in the New York Times