Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Brilliant Classics Concludes Monteverdi Project

courtesy of Naxos of America

This past September Brilliant Classics concluded their project to record the complete madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi with a single CD of the ninth book in the collection. As has already been observed, this is a posthumous publication, which came out in 1651. (Monteverdi had died in 1643.)

Presumably, the publisher was responding to public demand. Thus, he thought nothing of reproducing “past hits,” such as the duet “O sia tranquillo il mare” (let the sea be calm), which had been previously published in 1638. However, for those who cannot get enough of Monteverdi, the collection also includes the trio for three sopranos “Come dolce hoggi l’auretta” (how sweet is today’s dawn), which is the only surviving music from the opera Proserpina rapta (Proserpina ravished), which had been performed in 1630. Those familiar with early seventeenth-century music will probably also recognize the repeated bass line of “Zefiro torna” (return O Zephyr), if not the melody lines for a trio of tenors.

The point is that, while the publisher may not have been interested in anything other than another revenue stream, there is much to enjoy in this final collection and the refreshingly expressive interpretations prepared by Krijn Koetsveld for his Le Nuove Musiche ensemble.

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