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Monteverdi’s madrigals

Monteverdi’s madrigals Edward Breen welcomes the completion of a 30-year project to record all the madrigals Concerto Italiano – multiple Gramophone Award winners – complete their Monteverdi madrigal anthology begun 30 years ago (12/93) with this handsome collection from Naïve, which includes their latest release of the first and ‘last’ books. Looking back to the Gramophone Awards issue (11/94), Iain Fenlon wrote of their Quarto libro de’ madrigali : ‘Here, for the first time in the history of recording, a group of singers who really understand the language as only native Italians can has really shown us all the subtleties of Monteverdi’s powerful and moving rhetoric.’ This sentence captures the excitement surrounding early discs in this set and now, at the other end of the project, we can consider their treatment of Monteverdi’s compositional trajectory. Have Concerto Italiano, so enmeshed in this particular musical and literary epoch, invoked a sense of unfolding ‘baroquification’ de

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