Karla Schlean (soprano), Clara Foti (mezzo-soprano), Elena Mazzoni (contralto), Rodolfo Farolfi (tenor), Gastone Sarti (baritone) & Dmitri Nabokov (bass)
Quintetto Vocale Italiano
CD - 6 discs
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A fascinating compilation detailing the highly expressive music of Prince, composer and murderer Carlo Gesualdo – one of history’s most colourful figures.
Gesualdo’s first six books of madrigals remain his best-known music. While Nos. 1 and 2 rely on mastery of traditional counterpoint, it is in Books 3 and 4 that Gesualdo’s compositional idiosyncrasies – subtle rhythmic irregularities and unusual harmonic intervals – begin to dominate. By the time we reach the final two books, a fully mature style is in evidence: abounding in rich chromaticism, these collections contain a wealth of striking songs in which extremes of emotion are represented.
Gesualdo’s daring and forward-looking language was born out of his belief that music must be subservient to textual meaning, and his status as a nobleman allowed him to pursue this position unhindered. Featuring Quintetto Vocale Italiano’s pioneering performance of the works, this release movingly traces the development of a composer whose intensely expressive music was centuries ahead of its time.
First complete recording of this dramatic and historically significant body of music: a hugely important set in the wider dissemination of Gesualdo’s oeuvre.
Sung texts available from www.newtonclassics.com
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