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Alfred Deller; The Complete Vanguard Recordings - Volume 5
English, French and Italian Madrigals.
CD 1: Madrigals of Thomas Morley and John Wilbye
CD 2: The English Madrigal School
CD 3: The Silver Swan
CD 4: French and English Madrigal Masterpieces
CD 5: Claudio Monteverdi: Madrigali amorosi / Italian Madrigal Masterpieces
CD 6: Madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi and Don Carlo Gesualdo
The Deller Consort/Alfred Deller
rec. 1950s, 1960s. ADD
VANGUARD CLASSICS MC 196 [6 CDs: 76:42 + 75:01 + 72:02 + 49:00 + 72:16 + 75:28]

Experience Classicsonline


 
The Vanguard Dellers have now emerged in shiny box sets to delight a new generation. That said, their stylistic particularities, so vulnerable to the passage of performance history, will alert listeners to the prevailing orthodoxies and aesthetics of the time. In short, a degree of romanticism, one that imbued the performances with great warmth but could also, to critical ears, turn the things inside out, ahistorically. That was, one suspects, even the case toward the end of the Deller project when fresh winds were blowing in the Early Music scene. The great names of the vocal ensemble however are all here; names that will ignite strong memories and affections – amongst them Cantelo, Brown, English, Bevan, Sheppard, McLoughlin, Thomas, and Robert Tear, let’s not forget, who sings on a goodly number of tracks.
 
A set such as this sweeps up a vast body of work into one boxed basket and is certainly not for consecutive listening. It’s rather a reference box, a repository of an approach to the repertoire of one of the most outstanding contributors to it, on disc and in person. This was in many ways crusading work for the repertoire, a sustained and systematic unveiling of music that had not been heard in such a way and in such bulk on disc before. Its approach in general spearheaded, say, the later Consort of Musicke, and many other ensembles; and it underlay an ethos to the music too, however altered the new approaches might have been. It’s good to be able to honour and salute Deller’s pioneering efforts in this way. These are boxes to last a lifetime.
 
The coiling and winding lines of Morley’s Miraculous love’s wounding attest to the care and preparation involved; so too the expressive plangency and depth of utterance accorded Leave this toemneting. These are the kinds of pieces at which the group excelled. With music that calls for the kind of melancholy that spans time and place, they are still a minor revelation. But sometimes their approach borders – it seems to us now, perhaps - almost on the parodic. The very BBC Home Service rendition of I go before, my darling – with sopranos April Cantello and Eileen McLoughlin – remains very much of its own time. It’s things like Wilbye’s Ah, cannot sigh, nor tears, nor aught else move thee that captures the group at its most intense and moving, though I would rate their rendition of the same composer’s Lady your words do spite me just as highly.
 
These examples come from the first CD but clearly these comments apply across the set. Sometimes the ensemble sounds simply too coy. There are a number of such examples. But where one fears that might be the case, we are happily found wanting in judgement; Thomas Vautor’s Mother, I will have a husband sounds stronger and more purposeful than others in the genre. The hey-nonny aspect of such as John Bennett’s All creatures are now merry-minded wears pretty thin pretty quickly and it’s best to turn to a truly great madrigal and instrumental composer such as John Ward, whose Hope of my heart is noble and elevated. Tallis’s Like as the doleful dove is sonorous but attractively gentle-grained. One thing that impresses is the choice of tempo. Try Wilbye’s Lady, when I behold in the third disc; it sounds a perfectly judged and sustained tempo, and is. This Silver Swan set of madrigals presents some of the finest examples in the box, and shows the Consort operating at or very near its outstanding best; Gibbons, Pilkington, Johnson, Ward, Wilbye and Robert Jones are the outstanding names – and there are two examples by Byrd.
 
The fourth disc is given over to mostly French madrigals. I can’t really think of a better word than ‘affected’ to describe the articulation of the consort’s Le Chant des Oiseaux. Their Janequin otherwise is fine, but here it sounds over-fussed. One would expect their Josquin La déploration de Jehan Ockeghem (Nymphes des bois) to be a most moving experience. I listened several times expecting the Deller magic to move me. Stubbornly it refused to do so. Better was La bataillle de Marignan whose robust qualities are extrovertly detailed. In the Monteverdi Madrigal amorosi the sopranos can tend to cut across the ensemble. What was sometimes implicit in the English madrigal recordings becomes overt in the more exposed and taxing Monteverdi settings. One listens in particular to Wilfred Brown and Gerald English, the tenors who so raptly and sensitively evoke the deeper mysteries of the music; one thinks in particular of their remarking contribution to the 1638 Altri canti di Marte e di sua schiera. They are at a pitch of melancholy intensity by the final part, Mentre vaga angioletta. Their singing reflects the greater qualities of the Deller performance, that of a gentle pathos that reaches inwards and makes the music vibrate with life.
 
A final disc offers downloadable cover art, notes and lyrics. The booklet has brief notes and a track-listing.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 

 

Full Tracklist
English, French and Italian Madrigals. Alfred Deller; The Complete Vanguard Recordings - Volume 5
CD 1
Madrigals of Thomas Morley and John Wilbye
Thomas Morley
The First Booke of Balletts to Five Voyces (1595)
1. iii: Now is the month for maying
Madrigalls to Foure Voyces ... The First Booke (1594)
2. vii: In dew of roses
The First Booke of Balletts to Five Voyces (1595)
3. ii: Shoot, false Love, I care not
The First Booke of Canzonets to Two Voyces (1595)
4. vii: Miraculous love's wounding!
Canzonets or Little Short Aers to Five and Sixe Voyces (1597)
5. xxi: Hark, alleluia cheerly
Canzonets or Little Short Songs to Three Voyces (1593)
6. xx: Arise, get up, my dear
The First Booke of Balletts to Five Voyces (1595)
7. xix: Leave this tormenting
The First Booke of Canzonets to Two Voyces (1595)
8. v: I go before, my darling
The First set of English Madrigals (1594)
9. xx: Say, gentle nymphs
Canzonets or Little Short Songs to Three Voyces (1595)
10. vi: Good morrow, fair ladies
Madrigalls to Foure Voyces ... The First Booke (1594)
11. i: April is in my mistress' face
Canzonets or Little Short Songs to Three Voyces (1593)
12. xxiii: Though Philomela lost her love
The Triumphes of Oriana (1601)
13. xxiii: Hard by a crystal fountain
Canzonets or Little Short Songs to Three Voyces (1593)
14. vii: Whiter away, so fast
Canzonets or Little Short Aers to Five and Sixe Voyces (1597)
15. xvii: I follow, lo, the footing
16. vii: O grief!
The First Booke of Canzonets to Two Voyces (1595)
17. vii: When, lo, by break of morning
Madrigalls to Foure Voyces ... The First Booke (1594)
18. xiv: Besides a fountain
The First Booke of Balletts to Five Voyces, (1595)
19. xiv: Fire! Fire! my heart!
John Wilbye
The First Set of English Madrigals (1598)
20. xi: Thus saith my Cloris bright
The Second Set of Madrigals (1609)
21. xvi: Happy, O happy he, who not affecting
22. xxv: Ye that do live in pleasures plenty
23. xxx: Ah, cannot sigh, nor tears, nor aught else move thee
24. xxxii: Stay, Corydon, thou swain
25. xxxi: Draw on, sweet Night, best friend unto those cares
The First Set of English Madrigals (1598):
26. xviii: Lady, your words do spite me
The Second Set of Madrigals (1609)
27. v: As fair as morn, as fresh as May
28. xxiii: Weep, weep, mine eyes, my heart can take no rest
CD 2
The English Madrigal School
Thomas Morley: Madrigals to Foure Voyces (1594)
29. xviii: Ho! Who comes here?
Thomas Weelkes: Madrigals to 3, 4, 5 voyces (1597)
30. vi: Cease sorrows now
Thomas Vautor: Songs of divers Ayres and Natures (1619)
31. iv: Mother, I will have a husband
Richard Edwards: The Mulliner Book, f. 79 v:
32. In going to my naked bed
Thomas Weelkes: Balletts and Madrigals (1598)
33. ii: To shorten Winter's sadness
Thomas Weelkes: Madrigals of 5 (and 6) parts (1600)
34. iv-v: O Care, thou wilt despatch me
John Bartlett: A Booke of Ayres (1606)
35. 10: Of all the birds that I do know
John Bennet: The Triumphes of Oriana (1601)
36. iv: All creatures are now merry-minded
Thomas Morley: The First Booke of Canzonets (1595)
37. iii: Sweet nymph
John Bennet: Madrigalls to Foure Voyces (1599)
38. xiii: Weep O mine eyes
Thomas Weelkes: Ayres or Phantasticke Spirites (1608)
39. x: The Ape, the Monkey and the Baboon
John Wilbye: The Second Set of Madrigals (1609)
40. xx: Oft have I vowed
Thomas Weelkes: Ayres or Phantasticke Spirites (1608)
41. xviii: Strike it up, Tabor
John Ward: The First Set of English Madrigals (1613)
42. xvii: Hope of my heart
Thomas Wilbye: The Second Set of Madrigals (1609)
43. xvii-xviii: Sweet honey-sucking bees
Robert Johnson, British Museum Add. Ms. 30513
44. Defiled is my name
Thomas Weelkes: Ballets and Madrigals for Five Voices (1598)
45. v: On the plains, fairy trains
Richard Edwards, British Museum Add. Ms. 30513
46. When griping griefs
Thomas Weelkes:Ballets and Madrigal for Five Voicesi (1598)
47. i: All at once well met
Thomas Tallis, British Museum Add. Ms. 30513
48. Like as the doleful dove
Anon., British Museum Add. Ms. 30513
49. The bitter sweet
Thomas Wilbye:The First Set of English Madrigals (1598)
50. xxii: Flora gave me fairest flowers
John Shepherd, British Museum Add. Ms. 30513
51. O happy dames
Thomas Weelkes: Madrigals to 3, 4, 5 Voyces (1597)
52. viii: Young cupid hath proclaimed
Anon., British Museum Add. Ms. 30513
53. The happy life (My friends, the thing I smile to see)
Thomas Weelkes: Madrigals of 6 parts (1600)
54. vii: Thule, the period of cosmography
CD 3
The Silver Swan
Orlando Gibbons: First Set of Madrigals and Motets of 5 Parts, 1612
55. The silver swan
Francis Pilkington: The First Book of Songs or Ayres of 4 Parts, 1605
56. Rest, sweet nymphs
57. Diaphenia like the daffdowndilly
Orlando Gibbons: First Set of Madrigals and Motets of 5 Parts, 1612
58. What is our life
William Byrd: Psalmes, Sonets, & Songs of Sadness and Pietie, 1588
59. Though Amaryllis dance
Orlando Gibbons: First Set of Madrigals and Motets of 5 Parts, 1612
60. Ah! Dear heart
William Byrd: Psalmes, Songs and Sonnets, 1611
61. This sweet and merry month
Orlando Gibbons: First Set of Madrigals and Motets of 5 Parts, 1612
62. Dainty, fine bird
Francis Pilkington: First Set of Madrigals and Pastorals, 1613
63. Have I found her
Francis Pilkington: Second Set of Madrigals and Pastorals, 1624
64. O softly singing lute
Francis Pilkington: First Set of Madrigals and Pastorals, 1613
65. Amyntas with his Phyllis fair
John Ward: First Set of English Madrigals, 1613
66. Retire, my troubled soul
67. Upon a bank with roses
68. Out from the vale
Anon., British Museum Add. Ms. 30513
69. I smile to see how you devise
Robert Johnson, British Museum Add. Ms. 4900; 30513
70. Benedicam Domino
Thomas Wilbye: The First set of English Madrigal (1598)
71. x: Lady, when I behold
72. xii: Adieu, sweet Amaryllis
73. xvi: I always beg, yet never am relieved
74. xvii: Thus love commands that I in vain complain me
John Wilbye: The Second Set of Madrigals (1609)
75. xx: Oft I have vowed how dearly I did love thee
76. i: Come, shepherd swains, that wont to hear me sing
John Wilbye: The Triumphs of Oriana (1601):
77. xv: The Lady Oriana
Robert Jones: The Triumph of Oriana
78. Fair Oriana seeming to wink at folly
CD 4
French and English Madrigal Masterpieces
Guillaume Costeley
79. Noels: Allons gay bergeres
80. Mignonne, allons voir si la rose
Passereau
81. Il est bel et bon
Clément Janequin:
82. Le Chant des oiseaux
Josquin Desprez:
83. La déploration de Jehan Ockeghem
84. Parfons Regretz
Orlando Lasso (m), Joachim Du Bellay
85. La nuit froide et sombre
Clément Janequin
86. Le chant de l'Alouette
Clément Janequin: 31 Chansons Musicales, Attaignant, 1529
87. Ce moys de may
Clément Janequin: Attaignant, c. 1537
88. La bataille de Marignan (aka La Guerre)
Clément Janequin: Attaignant, 1529
89. Au joly boys
Orlando di Lasso: Chansons a 5, 1560
90. Mon coeur se recommande à vous
William Byrd: Psalms, Sonets & Songs of Sadness and Pietie, 1588
91. Lullaby, my sweet little baby
Thomas Morley: The First Booke of Balletts to Five Voyces (1595)
92. iii: Now is the month maying
Thomas Tomkins: Songs or Madrigal for five voices 1622
93. When David heard that Absalon was slain
CD 5
Claudio Monteverdi: Madrigali amorosi / Italian Madrigal Masterpieces
Claudio Monteverdi / Marino (t)
Published in Ottavo libro de' madrigali (Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi ...), Venice, 1638
Altri canti di Marte e di sua schiera (sv155)
94. Part I: Altri canti di Marte e di sua schiera
95. Part II: Due belli occhi fur l'armi onde trafitto
Claudio Monteverdi / Petrarch (t)
Published in Ottavo libro de' madrigali (Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi ...), Venice, 1638
96. Vago augelletto che cantando vai (sv156)
Claudio Monteverdi / Guarini (t)
Published in Ottavo libro de' madrigali (Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi ...), Venice, 1638
97. Mentre vaga angioletta (sv157)
Claudio Monteverdi
Published in Ottavo libro de' madrigali (Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi ...), Venice, 1638
Ninfa che scalza il piede e sciolto il crine (sv160)
98. Part I: Ninfa che scalza il piede e sciolto il crine
99. Part II: Qui deh meco t'arresta, ove di fiori
100. Part III: De l'usate mie corde al suon potrai
Claudio Monteverdi / Guarini (t)
Published in Ottavo libro de' madrigali (Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi ...), Venice, 1638
101. Dolcissimo uscignolo, 'cantato à voce piena, alla francese' (sv161)
102. Chi vole aver felice e lieto il core, 'cantato à voce piena, alla francese' (sv162)
Claudio Monteverdi / O. Rinuccini (t)
Published in Ottavo libro de' madrigali (Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi ...), Venice, 1638
Lamento della Ninfa (sv163)
103. Part I: Non avea Febo ancora 'rapresentativo'
104. Part II: 'Amor', dicea, e'l piè
105. Part III: Sí tra sdegnosi pianti
Claudio Monteverdi / O. Rinuccini (t)
Published in Ottavo libro de' madrigali (Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi ...), Venice, 1638
106. Perchè te'n fuggi, o Fillide? (sv164)
Claudio Monteverdi
Published in Ottavo libro de' madrigali (Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi ...), Venice, 1638
107. Non partir, ritrosetta (sv165)
108. Su, su, su, pastorelli vezzosi (sv166)
Luca Marenzio
109. Cedan l'antiche tue chiare vittorie
Orlando di Lasso: Villanelle, Moresche, et altre canzoni, 1581
110. Matona mia cara
Luca Marenzio: Third Book of Madrigals for five voices, 1582
111. Scaldava il sol
Luca Marenzio: Ninth Book of Madrigals
112. Solo e pensoso
Luca Marenzio: Il Trionfo di Dori
113. Leggiadre ninfe
Cipriano de Rore (m) / Alfonso d'Avalos & Marquis del Vasto (t)
Published in Primo Libro di Madrigali a 4, 1547
114. Anchor che col partire
Jacob Arcadelt: 1st Book of Madrigals
115. Il bianco e dolce cigno
CD 6
Madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi and Don Carlo Gesualdo
Claudio Monteverdi / O. Rinuccini (t)
Published in Il sesto libro de' madrigali, Venice, 1614
Lagrime d'amante al sepolcro dell'amata (sv111)
116. Incenerite spoglie, avara tomba
117. Ditelo, o fiumi, e voi ch'udiste Glauco
118. Darà la notte il sol lume alla terra
119. Ma te raccoglie, o ninfa, in grembo il cielo
120. O chiome d'or, neve gentil del seno
121. Dunque, amate reliquie, un mar di pianto
Claudio Monteverdi / Petrarch (t)
Published in Il sesto libro de' madrigali, Venice, 1614
122. Zefiro torna e'l bel tempo rimena (sv108)
Claudio Monteverdi (m) / O. Rinuccini (t)
Published in Il sesto libro de' madrigali, Venice, 1614
Lamento d'Arianna (sv107)
123. Part One: Lasciatemi morire
124. Part Two: O Teseo, o Teseo mio
125. Part Three: Dove, dov'è la fede
126. Part Four: Ahi che non pur risponde
Claudio Monteverdi / Petrarch (t)
Published in Il sesto libro de' madrigali, Venice, 1614
127. Ohimé il bel viso, ohimé il soave sguardo (sv112)
Claudio Monteverdi / Guarini (t)
Published in Madrigali, libro primo, Venice, 1587
128. Baci soavi e cari (sv27)
Claudio Monteverdi / T. Tasso (t)
Published in Il secondo libro de' madrigali, Venice, 1590
129. Ecco mormorar l'onde (sv51)
Claudio Monteverdi / Guarini (t)
Published in Il quarto libro de' madrigali, Venice, 1603
130. A un giro sol de bell'occhi lucenti (sv84)
131. Non più guerra, pietate (sv88)
Claudio Monteverdi / ?Rinuccini (t)
Published in Il quarto libro de' madrigali, Venice, 1603
132. Sfogava con le stelle (sv78)
Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa
133. Beltà poi che t'assenti
Carlo Gesualdo: Fourth Book of Madrigals for five voices, 1596
134. Ecco morirò dunque
Hai, gia mi disco loro
Carlo Gesualdo: 6th Book of Madrigals
135. Morro lasso al mio duolo
The Deller Consort/Alfred Deller
VANGUARD CLASSICS MC 196 [6 CDs: 76:42 + 75:01 + 72:02 + 49:00 + 72:16 + 75:28]

 


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