Les Arts Florissants perform Monteverdi: Madrigals, Book VIII - 2nd part: Amorosi

The complete Monteverdi madrigals – Paul Agnew, conductor

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Les Arts Florissants

Paul Agnew — Conductor

Miriam Allan — Soprano (Amore)

Hannah Morrison — Soprano (Clorinda, Venere)

Stéphanie Leclercq — Contralto

Lucile Richardot — Contralto (Un delle Ingrate)

Paul Agnew — Tenor

Sean Clayton — Tenor (Tancredi)

Cyril Costanzo — Bass

Antonio Abete — Bass

Program notes

Les Arts Florissants and Paul Agnew perform the second part of the Eighth Book of Monteverdi's madrigals, the "amorous madrigals", in the concert hall of the Philharmonie 2 in Paris.

"This was an extraordinary long way, and now we arrive to its high point." (Paul Agnew)

At the end of four years dedicated to Monteverdi's madrigals, Les Arts Florissants perform as a climax of this project the Eighth Book of his madrigals, the most intense and the most successful. A work of maturity, an introspection of the virtuoso composer on his career, these last madrigals published before he died are composed according the classical shape of polyphonic music, Monteverdi characterizes its Eighth Book with a Baroque and concertante shape, with the accompanied monody: the bass is continuous, the melody is enriched with tessituras that are enlarged. In this way the dramatic performance contains more variations.

The Madrigali Amorosi begin with the "Altri canti di Marte". Warlike verses's music is characterized by sound intensity and loving verses by finesse. Verses were composed by Giambattista Marino. From Petrarch to Ottavio Rinuccini, in addition to Giovanni Battista Guarini's verses, lyrical and pastoral themes appear like shining ornaments of these small cantatas. "Il ballo delle ingrate" closes these last madrigals that Verdi composed on the verses by Ottavio Rinuccini, who was a poet and dramatist .

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