Le Nuove Musiche, led by acclaimed director Krijn Koetsveld, continue with their exceptional series of Claudio Monteverdi’s complete madrigals. This time they turn their attention to Book VIII, the intriguingly entitled Madrigali guerrieri et amorosi ('Madrigals of Love and War'), published four years after Monteverdi's death. These two contrasting themes divide the book into two halves; first war, then love. There's more crossover than might be expected: the first half of warlike madrigals ends with the tragic Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, based on Torquato Tasso's poem which sees Tancredi fighting a disguised Clorinda, fatally injuring her before realising that it is a fair maiden rather than a male foe. Despite nearing the end of his life, Monteverdi still demonstrates his knack for innovation, experimenting freely with the genre of the madrigal in the new context of the basso continuo.
Le Nuove Musiche’s approach to Monteverdi is an innovative one: to bring the past into the present, keeping alive the questions of the Renaissance that still permeate our musical landscape today, while seeking to maintain the highest standards of performance authenticity. Their release of Books V & VI garnered excellent reviews, including five stars in the French magazine Diapason.
Claudio Monteverdi published his 8th book of madrigals in 1638, in a time when the opera as art form became steadily more popular. In order to add a theatrical character to his madrigals he named them “madrigali guerrieri e amorosi”, madrigals of war and love. They are indeed overtly dramatic in expression, in fact they may be called mini operas in its opposing characters, intense drama and programmatic writing. Highlights are the famous “Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda” (on text by Tasso) and the breathtakingly beautiful Lamento della Ninfa, one of the most moving laments ever written.
The vocal ensemble Le Nuove Musiche consists of the elite of Dutch Early Music vocalists, led by eminent conductor and scholar Krijn Koetsveld. Their first Monteverdi recording, the Books 5 & 6 (BC93799) received excellent reviews in the international press, among which a “5 star” in the French Diapason.
Liner notes by the conductor, complete song texts in the original language included in the booklet.