Thursday, October 20, 2016

Gesualdo. Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa. (1566-1613. Sesto libro di Madrigali, 1611.

New acquisition.
Bought in October 2016.
First listen.
Label: Glossa.
Recording dates: June/July 2012.
Recording venue: Chiesa della BV al Colletto, Roletto, Italy.
Recording engineer: Giuseppe Maletto.
Running time: 77:55.
Classical relevance: As far as Gesualdo goes this is pretty essential.

Works performed:
See heading.

Performed by: 
La Compagnia del Madrigale.

A new ensemble, founded recently the booklet says, but gives no date as to the beginning. But whatever, the voices on this disc are experienced and suited to the music of Gesualdo. He did not write easy music, far from it. As a renaissance composer his polyphonic writing is complicated, and a tour de force for singers. But also your ears might suffer if it is badly performed. And I must say that I heard more bad as good recordings of his music.  A Sei voci is an ensemble I appreciate much. It is by no means easy music to approach, but some think it is, judging by bad interpretations that came my way.
I bought two volumes of this group, the present one and  Terza libro, the second instalment as far as I know in this series. As far as the singing is going I have nothing but praise to add. The voices are well blended, the female singers do not scream your ears of, and the male voices are admirable in their expression. You can hear that in every item on this disc. Thus, there is only one quibble I have, not an inconsiderable one. The recording is clear as a bell, and the ambiance in which they sing is perfectly suited for their voices. The air around them will produce a very natural recording, so in that sense all is as it should but....
Start the music in your normal listening modus, and you might find yourself blown away by the sudden outbursts of volume. If they sing in a steady volume all is well, but o, boy if they up their volume, you run for the volume button. My near field monitors were unforgiving as my reference system also, so it's a recording decision, despite the circumstance that the engineer must have heard this over his headphones, and found no harm in it, which to me is almost unbelievable. I have heard this done otherwise, without the painful outbursts. That dampens my enthusiasm a bit. There is no other way as to listen at a lower volume, and this I will do, for artistically they are top notch.





Graupner, Christoph. (1683-1760) Partitas for Harpsichord. Volume I.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: July 2017. First listen: 26-7-2017. Label: Analekta. Recording dates: September 2001. Recording v...