Renowned in his day but now faded into obscurity, Giovanni Ghizzolo and his hauntingly lyrical madrigals are brought to life on this new recording by Fantazyas. As a Franciscan friar, Ghizzolo composed many religious works, crossing the boundary between conservative and progressive music with daring new experiments in settings and textures. The madrigals featured here are an example of his secular work, of which he also wrote a great deal, inspired by his courtly life at Correggio, one of the great Renaissance courts modelled on Ferrara, Mantua and Venice. Ghizzolo reveals his ingenuity in the sheer variety of his writing, from thrilling polyphonies to an unusually lyrical monody of five voices, where nature comes to life as the story of Battillo and his beloved nymph is narrated by each voice in turn.
The madrigals showcased here are given an authoritative yet highly original interpretation by expert early music group Fantazyas. Alongside their director Roberto Balconi, described as ‘one of the best voices on the countertenor scene’ (L’Opera), the ensemble brings a sweet, pure sound to these overlooked Italian gems.
- Recorded in 2013.
- First recordings of madrigals by Giovanni Ghizzolo!
- Giovanni Ghizzolo (fl. 1600) was a highly respected composer, active at the grand court of Correggio, and creator of truly amazing madrigals, in which the complexity of the polyphony is stretched to its limits, his originality comparable to his famous contemporary Gesualdo.
- The madrigals are set on secular texts, dealing with the eternal topics of love (both fulfilled and rejected) and death.
- The vocal ensemble Fantazyas, led by Roberto Balconi (“one of the best voices on the countertenor scene”, L’Opera) display a stunning degree of virtuosity in these “micro operas”, in which the dramatic temperature may change with the speed of summer lightning.
- The booklet contains notes on the composer and the works, as well as artist biographies.