Foolish Heart: Madrigals for Three Sopranos

Foolish Heart: Madrigals for Three Sopranos
Artist Galàn
Alison Hill soprano
Katy Hill soprano
Lucy Page soprano
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 95995
EAN code 5028421959955
Release November 2020

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About this release

Sensuous madrigals, sacred anthems, dazzling toccatas and a rare cantata from the golden age of the Italian renaissance.

This release marks the debut on record of Galàn, a spirited, UK-based young ensemble committed to rediscovering the exciting and neglected sound world of three soprano voices and continuo. Specialising in European Renaissance and Baroque music, the group is accompanied by theorbo and harpsichord, and takes its name from the old English term for 'enchantment' and 'to sing'.

The group was originally inspired by the Concerto delle Donne, at female trio that performed in Ferrara at the end of acceptance in Europe for the female voice the 16th century. This ground-breaking ensemble led the way in gaining as a worthy instrument for respectable entertainment. The title track is a brief but ardent meditation on the madness of love by one of Monteverdi’s most accomplished contemporaries, the Roman priest Domenico Mazzochi.

More expansive is the cantata Siam tre miseri by another Roman composer, Giacomo Carissimi. Luzzasco Luzzaschi, with O Dolcezze and Non sa che sia Dolore, ranks alongside Monteverdi and Sigismondo d’India as a pioneer in the seconda prattica style which privileged the declamation of text over the smooth polyphony cultivated by Palestrina and his school. Monteverdi’s mastery of sacred and secular idioms are both represented here, with O viva Fiamma and Cantate Dominum as well as the harmonically tortured Ohime, dov’e il mio ben.

The most significant rarity here, probably receiving its first recording, is Lo Specchio: a 20-minute cantata by the Vienna-based Antonio Draghi (1634-1700), who gradually advanced through the ranks of the Hapsburg Court to become Kapellmeister in 1669. Plaintive, passionate and always dramatic. It is music that cannot fail to capture the imagination.

Galàn is a spirited young ensemble committed to rediscovering the exciting and often neglected sound world of three soprano voices and continuo. Specializing in European Renaissance and Baroque music, the group is accompanied by theorbo and harpsichord, and takes its name from the old English term for 'enchantment' and 'to sing'.
The group was originally inspired by the Concerto Delle Donne, a female trio that performed in Ferrara at the end of the sixteenth century. This ground-breaking ensemble led the way in gaining acceptance in Europe for the female voice as a respectable instrument for entertainment, as for centuries women’s voices were not deemed proper for this purpose.
This enterprising program includes works by Mazzochi, Draghi, Monteverdi, Carissimi, Luzzaschi, Frescobaldi, Bartolotti and Rossi.
Ensemble Galàn was founded in 2009 and since winning the Brighton Early Music Festival Young artist they are enjoying an active international career. They have benefitted by the advice and expertise of Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Dame Emma Kirkby.
The booklet contains extensive liner notes and the original song texts.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Domenico Mazzocchi: Folle cor
  2. Antonio Draghi: Lo specchio
  3. Claudio Monteverdi: O viva fiamma, SV 122
  4. Giacomo Carissimi: Siam tre miseri
  5. Girolamo Frescobaldi: Toccata Decima, libro 1
  6. Luzzasco Luzzaschi: O dolcezze
  7. Claudio Monteverdi: Ohime dove il mio ben, SV 140
  8. Luzzasco Luzzaschi: Non sa che sia dolore
  9. Angelo Michele Bartolotti: Preludio
  10. Claudio Monteverdi: Cantate dominum, SV 293
  11. Luigi Rossi: Fan battaglia