Monteverdi: Choral Works, Madrigals and Songs

Newton Classics: 8802117

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Monteverdi: Choral Works, Madrigals and Songs

Catalogue No:




Release date:

26th March 2012




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Monteverdi: Choral Works, Madrigals and Songs


Messa a 4 voci da Cappella (1650)

Salve Regina II a 2 voci, due Tenore

Litany of the Blessed Virgin

Lamento d'Arianna 'Lasciatemi morire'

Scherzi Musicali

Quarto scherzo delle ariose vaghezze

Il nono libro de madrigali, 1651

I Solisti di Milano & Polifonia Consort, Angelo Ephrikian (director)

CD - 3 discs


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Of his rich and prolific legacy, Claudio Monteverdi, born in Cremona in 1567, is particularly celebrated for his innovations; one of the most influential figures of 16th- and 17th-century music, he extended the expressive possibilities of his craft in an inventive blend of the old and new. This 3-disc set is a superb overview of his long and varied career, touching on each of the genres that he transformed – choral music, the madrigal, secular song and opera.

Monteverdi’s commitment to effective text expression is apparent throughout the collection, where it is fully explored in enduring performances led by Angelo Ephrikian. The secular songs and madrigals – drawn primarily from the Quarto scherzo delle ariose vaghezze of 1624, Scherzi musicali of 1632 and the posthumously published Ninth Book of Madrigals – reveal the composer’s experimentation with melody, dissonance and form in response to his texts. His sensitivity to drama and emotion is particularly evident in Lamento d’Arianna, which has been renowned for its ability to move audiences. Even the choral works are permeated by a sense of drama; the Mass for four voices and Salve Regina No.2, for example, carry all the hallmarks and expressive inflections of his secular madrigals.

From his years as a court composer to his time as maestro di cappella of San Marco in Venice, Monteverdi’s career was defined by his revolutionary approach to musical expression. This 3-disc collection is an engaging exploration of some of his most significant developments, and a fitting tribute to a composer who has been described as the ‘creator of modern music’.

New booklet note by Berta Joncus, which explores Monteverdi’s career and the compositions in this collection.

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