> MONTEVERDI Banquet of the Senses DVD [KM]: Classical Reviews- April2002 MusicWeb(UK)






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  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643)
Banquet of the Senses

1. Quel augellin 2'07
2. Introduction Anthony Roofy 3'53
3. Ohimé, se tanto amate 2'40
4. Commentary 6'11
5. Sfogava con le stelle 3'50
6. Ah dolente patita 3'07
7. Commentary 1'48
8. Parlo misero 4'57
9. Longe, mi Jesu 6'09
10. Piagn'e sospira 3'41
11. Commentary 1'38
12. Si ch'io vorrei morire 3'07
13. Io mi son giovinetta 2'19
14. Credits
The Consort of Musicke:
Anthony Rooey, director and lute
Emma Kirby, soprano
Evelyn Tubb. soprano
Mary Nicols, alto
Andrew King, tenor
Joseph Cornwell, tenor
Simon Grant, bass
Gabrielle Micheli, organ
Filmed at: The Plazzo Te, Mantua, Italy
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 99784 [48.09]



A staged version of Monteverdiís madrigals - what a unique idea. Anthony Rooley and the Consort of Musicke, with a fine group of soloists, present this combination performance/documentary about Monteverdi and his erotic madrigals. Opening with a song called Quel augellin, with the singers in full period regalia, standing around a table covered with food and wine. After this first track, Anthoney Rooley presents a brief introduction to Monteverdiís work and the Palazzo Te, in Mantua, Italy, where this performance was recorded.

The DVD continues with an alternation of songs and commentary - there is about 14 minutes of documentary for about 32 minutes of music. This is a bit light, but the pleasure of seeing these works performed in context - whether or not this context truly represents the type of performance that would have been made at the time - is indeed entertaining. Far from the black-jacketed performances one is used to seeing in concert, or in video recordings, the performers here clearly show how much they are enjoying themselves.

The documentary sections are didactic and interesting, and indeed well-illustrated. Rooley gives a good presentation that helps one truly understand the context and performance practice. However, one will not want to view this part of the DVD each time - thus it is necessary to skip around from track to track, which is a bit annoying.

Rooley examines the eroticism inherent in these works, and presents details from paintings that would perhaps give this DVD an R rating in the US. In addition, the erotic nature of the songs is illustrated by the madrigal Parlo, misero, where the three female singers perform in the sheerest of dresses with back-lighting that highlights their attractive forms. This is far from a staid recording of early music!

This is a fine, entertaining recording, that both provides excellent music and a unique presentation of an essential form of vocal music, the madrigal.

Kirk McElhearn

 


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