Further evidence of rich and pictorial artistry in the interpretation of Italian madrigals comes from La Compagnia del Madrigale as they now bring all their experience to bear on the early five-part works of Luca Marenzio. The ensemble’s new Glossa recording is set within a reflection of the dolce vita in Rome in the 1580s and 1590s, and music and text in Marenzio’s Primo Libro di Madrigali a cinque voci powerfully evoke this age of gold in the arts and sciences, and sumptuous patronage from cardinals and princes.
Marenzio’s Primo Libro (a huge success when published) adds another jewel to Glossa’s madrigalian crown – as well as the Gesualdo Book Six from the same group, there is much Monteverdi, of course, and the Marenzio Books Six and Nine and Gesualdo Books Four and Five, all recorded by La Venexiana (which shares many of the same singers as La Compagnia del Madrigale). In addition to the madrigals from the Primo Libro the new recording contains the rarely-performed Sestina Mentre ti fui sì grato, co-written by six members of the Renaissance collective known as the ‘Musici di Roma’ (Nanino, Moscaglia, de Macque, Soriano, Zoilo, and Marenzio himself).
Once again, the recording benefits from an entertaining essay courtesy of Marco Bizzarini, which vividly sets the scene for the musical life of Luca Marenzio in the Eternal City.
Performance **** Recording *****
"... this is a handsome tribute to Marenzio’s emerging talent and one in which the stock entreaties of love-sick nymphs and shepherds sound acutely sincere."
Anna Picard - BBC Music magazine - January 2013
Gramophone - Vocal Choice
"... Hopefully these spectacularly gorgeous inaugural albums for Glossa will be followed by more explorations of this engrossing quality."
David Vickers - Gramohone magazine - October 2013
**** (Excellent Album) *** (Good Sound)
Guillaume Bunei - Classica magazine - October 2013