With this recording the acclaimed ensemble Le Nuove Musiche, led by director Krijn Koetsveld, have come full circle and at last completed their monumental undertaking of a complete cycle of Claudio Monteverdi’s books of madrigals. In bringing this endeavour to a close the group have returned to their starting point, recording a fresh take of perhaps the most famous set, Monteverdi’s groundbreaking Books V & VI, previously released by Le Nuove Musiche one decade ago at the start of this musical journey.
With these two books of madrigals Monteverdi unequivocally made his forward-thinking position clear in the heated debate over musical aesthetics that had been raging fiercely in Florentine artistic circles. Defying his critics, he distanced himself from conservative practices by declaring his own methods a ‘second practice’, the seconda prattica. He abandoned the confines of a single mode, freely adding piquant dissonance to underpin emotionally charged words in the text, thus heightening the drama. He also began exploiting the basso continuo as an independent harmonic foundation for melody – the dawn of monody, a solo-and-accompaniment style that would surpass polyphony as the basis for the music of so many later generations of composers.
Le Nuove Musiche’s approach to Monteverdi is both dedicated and informed. They bring the past into the present, considering questions that were asked in the Renaissance and are still relevant in our present musical landscape, thereby making Early Music as new today as any other, while maintaining the highest standards of performance authenticity.
The last and closing instalment of the Monteverdi Complete Madrigals recordings by Le Nuove Musiche.
Claudio Monteverdi published his eight books with Madrigals between 1585 and 1635. In these books we can follow the transformation in music history. His 5th and 6th book of madrigals form a turning point in Monteverdi’s language, here we encounter “La seconda pratticca ovvero Perfezzione della moderna musica”, the introduction of “modern” music. New elements are the personal, solo voice within the ensemble, the perfection of musical rhetoric and the expression of the text, resulting in dramatic word painting.
The 6th book contains the famous Lamento d’Arianna, a poignant and moving aria from a lost opera, now perfectly set for the five voices of the madrigal.
This is the last instalment of the complete recording of Monteverdi’s Madrigals by Le Nuove Musiche. This vocal ensemble consists of the elite of Dutch Early Music vocalists, led by eminent conductor and scholar Krijn Koetsveld. Their previous Monteverdi recordings received excellent reviews in the international press, among which a “5 star” in the French Diapason and a “10/10” in Dutch classical magazine Luister.
Recorded in The Netherlands in 2017.
Contains liner notes and a biography of the artists.
Contains the sung texts in the original Italian and English translation.