Les Arts Florissants perform Monteverdi: Madrigals, Book VIII - 1st part: Guerrieri

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

Lisandro Abadie — Bass

Program notes

Les Arts Florissants and Paul Agnew come to the end of their huge project of performing Monteverdi's complete madrigals. They come back for this programme to the concert hall of the Philharmonie 2 de Paris, for this concert dedicated to the Eighth Book, the "warlike madrigals", broadcast live on

As the climax of the project they have led for four years, Les Arts Florissants perform a masterpiece of Monteverdi's madrigals productions with this Eighth Book divided into "guerrieri" and "amorosi". The last madrigals that had been published before he died in 1638 in Venice, almost twenty years after the Seventh Book, are the most intense and remarkable madrigals he had composed. Contrary to the first books that had been composed according to 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 theme of a trouble caused by love injuries deeply marks these warlike madrigals. They are composed after Le Tasse's poem La Gerusalemme liberata, that recounts the struggle between Tancredi and Clorinda, which is one of the two great ballo of this book, a musical part that will be staged. Monteverdi composed Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda in 1608 for Vincenzo Gonzaga of Mantua.

Monteverdi introduced another novelty in his composition, the stile concicato: the musical phrasing expresses the agitation, the terror during the fatal struggle narrated in these madrigals.

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