Claudio Monteverdi - The Sixth Book of Madrigals (Festivals Monteverdi Vivaldi - Venice 2014)
Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643)
Madrigals, Book 6: the madrigale ‘concertato’ and the ‘Lamento d’Arianna’
Lyricist(s): Giambattista Marino (1569 - 1625); Petrarch (1304 - 1374); Ottavio Rinuccini (1562 - 1621)
Performed by Les Arts Florissants
Conducted by Paul Agnew
Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice 2014
Sopranos: Miriam Allan, Maud Gnidzaz, Hannah Morrison
Contralto: Lucile Richardot
Tenors: Paul Agnew, Sean Clayton
Bass: Cyril Costanzo
Monteverdi’s Sixth Book of Madrigals was published by Ricciardo Amadino in Venice in 1614, nine years after Book Five. In it, the composer continues his exploration of the main musical form of the day, once more making the most of all the musical resources at his disposal, whether traditional or innovative, in his quest to transform poetry into music. Over the previous nine years Monteverdi had composed, published and seen performed some of the most famous works in the history of music: L’Orfeo (1607), L’Arianna (1608), the Ballo delle Ingrate (1608) and the Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610).
Sadly, the complete score of Monteverdi’s Arianna is lost without trace, but history has compensated us at least in part by preserving the extremely well-known Lamento d’Arianna. The composer set this text in both the ancient and the modern style, probably to prove that both the narrative and representational forms can be employed to express the heights of emotion (a third, sacred version was included in the Selva morale e spirituale (1640) as the Pianto della Madonna sopra il Lamento d’Arianna).
It is not however pure chance that only the Lamento has survived: it was defined by Monteverdi himself as ‘the most essential part of the work’ and it became so famous that ‘there was no home that possessed either harpsichords or lutes, that did not also possess a copy of that lament’ (the words of Florentine writer and composer Severo Bonini around 1640), while Giovanni Battista Doni in his Treatise (1635) speaks of the ‘Lament of Ariadne which is perhaps the most beautiful composition of its kind to have been written in our times’. As soon as Arianna had first been staged in 1608, manuscript copies had begun to circulate around Italy in great quantities (some are now held by libraries in Florence and Modena), featuring many musical and textual discrepancies: the opera’s success and perhaps the desire to establish an official version spurred Monteverdi on to publish the solo version in 1623 (in fact there were two publications issued in that same year, but the continuo part is missing from one of them), nine years after having written the Sixth Book’s five-part adaptation in the a cappella style which, because of the advent of monody and opera, was not long for this world.
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2 weeks, 4 days ago
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