Monteverdi - Complete Madrigals | Brilliant Classics 95661

Monteverdi - Complete Madrigals


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Label: Brilliant Classics

Cat No: 95661

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 12

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 8th February 2019



A project 10 years in the making, now issued complete for the first time: a landmark in Monteverdi performance.

The Dutch musician Krijn Koetsveld has often conducted Bach, and he was founder-director of The Netherlands Bach Ensemble. However, it is the name of Claudio Monteverdi with which he is indelibly associated: he first encountered the composer’s music in 1972, and describes it as ‘love at first sight, which never passed’.

This relationship matured over time into the foundation of a soloistic vocal group, Le Nuove Musiche, with the technical skills, the scholarly understanding and the musical sensitivities to do justice to the highly intimate, sophisticated genre of Renaissance madrigal, of which the nine books by Monteverdi represent its summit and fullest flowering.

Recording all nine books, and several other mini-dramas and vocal chamber works which fall within the genre but outside the books themselves, began in 2004 and was only completed in 2018. Koetsveld contributes a lively and authoritative introduction to the whole project in the booklet. He remarks: ‘Nine books of madrigals, all of them unique, contributing to the transition from the Renaissance to the baroque, a musical history in sound.’

As the series has been released, its importance has been widely recognised in the critical press. In 2017, Fanfare observed: Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda is representative of Koetsveld’s approach. The harmonic outline of the continuo is restrained and precise, the tutti playing of the strings articulated clearly. Both instrumental and concerted textures are so transparent one could take dictation to the recording. In a luminous performance as the narrator, Falco van Loon is focused and crystalline; Wendy Roobol is a clean, nimble Clorinda. Arnout Lems is the most dramatic of the soloists, voicing Tancredi in a rich but gentle baritone.’

More from Fanfare: ‘Decidedly expert performances [make Koetsveld’s Monteverdi an] eminently valuable reference recording.’ ‘The budget price cannot be overlooked, but it is not a measure of the exceptional value of Koetsveld’s accomplishment.’

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