Claudio Monteverdi, La Compagnia Del Madrigale, Giuseppe Maletto - Vespro Della Beata Vergine

Published Monday 24th April 2017
Claudio Monteverdi, La Compagnia Del Madrigale, Giuseppe Maletto - Vespro Della Beata Vergine
Claudio Monteverdi, La Compagnia Del Madrigale, Giuseppe Maletto  - Vespro Della Beata Vergine

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 165374-25791
LABEL: Glossa GCD922807

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

I first heard La Compagnia del Madrigale with their 2014 release of Gesualdo's 'Responsoria' of 1611 and much of my review of that album applies to this 2017 release of Claudio Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers in that the musicianship is first class and the vocal blend very much to my liking. As La Compagnia continue their journey across the major secular and sacred landmarks of Italian Renaissance polyphony, there is no avoiding Monteverdi's Vespers. I do not mean this in a derogatory sense but if you search the Cross Rhythms' reviews or take a look in your preferred CD guide you will see there are plenty of other recordings available. However this award-winning ensemble together with Cantica Symphonia and La Pifarescha, all under the direction of Giuseppe Maletto, are more than capable of holding their own in the company of even the most exalted early music specialists. The approach taken by these Italian musicians reflects their long experience with such music and covers all areas of the performance including whether to add plainchant, which instruments to use, and crucially, the choices relating to tempi and pitch. In the booklet essay (translated into English) Marco Bizzarini brings his deep understanding of the interplay of words and music in Italy in Monteverdi's time, underscoring the skill, experience and sheer musicality of La Compagnia. What emerges is a refreshing but natural response to one of the great choral masterworks, for Monteverdi's 450th anniversary year. Monteverdi is one of the giants of Western music and the two CDs in this well presented set see him at his best. Standouts for this reviewer are the two settings of the Magnificat on disc two, one for seven voices and one for six. How the same text can be set so well not once but twice is inspiring and proof, if any were needed, of Monteverdi's genius.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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