Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:

GRAMOPHONE (01/2020)
Pour s'abonner / Subscription information


Code-barres / Barcode : 8424562228092

Outil de traduction (Très approximatif)
Translator tool (Very approximate)

Reviewer: Fabrice Fitch

The past few months have opened up a rich seam for Gesualdo enthusiasts, with an impressive new release from Exaudi (Winter & Winter, A/19), the launch of a complete madrigal cycle from Les Arts Florissants (Harmonia Mundi, 12/19) and now this from La Compagnia del Madrigale, which edges closer to completing its own (including the recordings issued as La Venexiana). It seems to me that they have taken time to properly hit their stride, but here they rediscover the heights scaled with Claudio Cavina at the helm. These are near-flawless readings, effortlessly poised and formally legible. Their responses to textual and musical cues are never overdrawn but subtle and even humorous (the sense of ensemble at ‘subito sparve’ in ‘All’apparir di quelle luce’ forces admiration, but also a smile). And they draw out the composer’s early and enduring gift (which he shares with Monteverdi) of emphatically satisfying endings (‘In più leggiadro velo’, ‘Hai rotto e sciolto’).

The comparison with Les Arts Florissants, whose most recent offering includes the first two books, is particularly instructive. I entirely share Edward Breen’s enthusiasm for it; in fact, I cannot remember having been so astonished by madrigal performances in a very long while. Les Arts Florissants are recorded live in a comparatively dry acoustic which leaves the singers nowhere to hide, like a painter working on unprimed canvas; and yet they take the music down risky pathways, playing chicken with the notion of ensemble and somehow convincing one that such raw immediacy was what Gesualdo and his audience must have prized. Less polished than their Italian counterparts, their performances presage a truly groundbreaking cycle.

But there’s another reason to invest in La Compagnia’s recording, which includes a very generous helping of madrigals by lesser-known but crucial figures. More than mere bonus tracks, they situate Gesualdo in his proper environment. As to a choice between the two accounts, there’s little point. I only wish that other early vocal repertories were as embarrassingly well served.

Sélectionnez votre pays et votre devise en accédant au site de
Presto Classical
(Bouton en haut à droite)

Pour acheter l'album
ou le télécharger

To purchase the CD
or to download it

Choose your country and curency
when reaching
Presto Classical
(Upper right corner of the page)


Cliquez l'un ou l'autre bouton pour découvrir bien d'autres critiques de CD
 Click either button for many other reviews