Baci soavi e cari

Although nowadays Marenzio is not known and performed as he deserves, ha was unanimously acclaimed by his contemporaries as the greatest madrigalist of his time. His madrigal books obtained huge popularity and were reprinted several times throughout Europe. Gifted with extraordinary expressive versatility and capable of transparent and crystal clear writing, he was extremely sensitive to the most subtle nuances of the text. His work is to be considered as one of the most vivid and mature testimonies of madrigal art.
The program offers a choice of madrigals for 5 and 6 voices, whose rendering made the CDM earn the prestigious Grammophone Award and two Diapason d’or.

Dolorosa gioia
Carlo Gesualdo

Extraordinary beauty, intense expression of affects, mastery in counterpoint and musical artificies, desire to extend the expressive boundaries of the polyphonic madrigal as much as possible. Gesualdo’s madrigals are the vivid and passionate legacy of one of the most controversial, tormented and fascinating musical personalities. The CDM has established itself as a reference interpreter in the repertoire of the Prince of Venosa, receiving important awards including the renowned Diapason d’or de l’année.

Quell’augellin che canta
Claudio Monteverdi

The recurrent images of this anthology of madrigals (taken from the first six books) are nature and pastoral scenes, intertwined with the usual themes of love. Monteverdi paints the singing of birds, the rustling of the wind, the beauty of flowers and nature with unparalleled intensity and daintiness, enhancing the poetic images evoked by the rhetorical mastery of Tasso, Guarini and Petrarca.

Lacrime d’amante – Le vette del madrigale
Claudio Monteverdi

In his polyphonic madrigals, and in particular in the great cycles of the Fifth and Sixth books (Ecco Silvio, Lamento di Arianna and Sestina), Claudio Monteverdi sums up and elevates a century of research on the union of music and poetry to the highest expressive vertices.

Di guerra e d’amore
Claudio Monteverdi

Performers: 6 voices, 2 violins, viola da gamba, harpsichord, theorbo.
In the second part of his glorious career, Monteverdi persists with new expressive means in the search for a further ‘servat to speech’ music. The program presents concertati madrigals with instruments, taken from the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth book, including the famous Lamento della ninfa and the incomparable Or che ‘l ciel e la terra. The madrigals are interspersed with instrumental symphonies by Salomon Rossi, Biagio Marini, Giovanni Battista Buonamente, Francesco Cavalli, Francesco Turini.

Il canzoniere di Petrarca

Jacob Arcadelt, Cipriano de Rore, Orlando di Lasso, Luca Marenzio, Giaches de Wert, Giovanni de Macque, Orazio Vecchi, Claudio Monteverdi.
The madrigal is certainly the most representative musical genre of the sixteenth century. This is testified by the impressive number of madrigals that have came down to us, not only by Italian masters but also by composers from all over Europe (first of all the Flemish). The madrigal has contributed to the spread of Italian culture throughout the continent, as madrigal production in Italian far surpasses that of profane music of all other European languages.
The work of Francesco Petrarca lies in the center of this phenomenon, born precisely from the widespread interest in his poetry, from which music drew new expressive impulse.
The texts of the Canzoniere, by far the most set piece of music throughout the sixteenth century, are the protagonists of this program: an anthology of madrigals by Italian and ‘oltremontani’ composers that represents the summit of late-Renaissance music.

Orlando Furioso

Philippe Verdelot, Cipriano de Rore, Orlando di Lasso, Hoste da Reggio, Vincenzo Ruffo, Giaches de Wert, Giovanni da Palestrina, Andrea Gabieli, Alfonso Ferrabosco, Alessandro Striggio, Benedetto Pallavicino, William Byrd.
The program covers some of the events of the Orlando Furioso, the famous epic poem by Ludovico Ariosto that since its first publication in 1516 has represented one of the most successful works of all Italian literature. The amount of music composed on texts taken from Orlando is enormous, overtaken only by the production on Petrarca’s texts: about 700 compositions have come to us, written over a few decades, and nowadays almost all unknown. The authors are all the most important Italian and Flemish composers of the time. This program is the result of a meticulous musical selection and offers an overview of the expressive styles and trends that characterized the musical transpositions of the Ariosto poem during the period of its maximum musical popularity, and in general of the evolution of the madrigal during the central period of ‘500.

Gerusalemme liberata

Giaches de Wert, Luca Marenzio, Claudio Monteverdi.
The masterpiece of Torquato Tasso, despite the poet himself had expressed doubts about putting his epic octaves to music, has many musical versions above all by the three greatest madrigalists of the end of the Sixteenth Century, Giaches de Wert, Luca Marenzio and Claudio Monteverdi.
It was Wert who first developed a new style of dramatic madrigal, whose very high results inspired the young Monteverdi in the two admirable dramatic compositions of the Third Book.
Also Luca Marenzio, at the time unanimously recognized as the best composer of madrigals, composed about thirty pieces on Tasso’s verses, dedicating to the Jerusalem the debut piece of the Fourth Book for 5 voices of 1584.
So it was certainly the madrigals of Wert, Marenzio and Monteverdi that led Tasso in 1594 to admit: «the heroic poems can be with that kind of music that is most perfect».

Il pastor fido

Giaches de Wert, Luca Marenzio, Claudio Monteverdi, Sigismondo d’India, Heinrich Schütz.
The ‘dramma pastorale’ by Giovan Battista Guarini (published in 1590) was very successful and was a fruitful source of inspiration for many of the most important madrigal composers of the time. The tormented love affairs of Silvio and Dorinda, Mirtillo and Amarilli, gave inspiration for the exploration of contrasting and sometimes extreme affections. The Arcadian setting and the masterly poetry of Guarini offered the perfect form for the madrigal style that then reached full maturity.

La città eterna
Il madrigale a Roma

Costanzo Festa, Jakob Arcadelt, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Luca Marenzio, Giovanni Maria Nanino, Giovanni de Macque.
Rome, great cultural and then musical capital city, has always been a very popular destination for all artists. Therefore, the great concentration of musicians from all over Europe during the XVI century is not surprising. They were dedicated not only to the composition of sacred music, but also to the Madrigal. This new musical genre, born precisely between Rome and Florence, experienced an extraordinary success in the Eternal City even in the courts of prelates and cardinals who were competing for the best musicians of the time.

La Serenissima
Il madrigale e Venezia

Adrian Willaert, Gioseffo Zarlino, Cipriano de Rore, Andrea e Giovanni Gabrieli, Claudio Monteverdi, Heinrich Schütz
The Republic of Venice, between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, was one of the richest and most powerful commercial centers in Europe, where a very active cultural environment developed, particularly attractive for musicians looking for a prestigious job. With the advent of music printing, all the most important printers took up headquarters in Venice, thus increasing their position of prominence in the musical field as well. During the whole Sixteenth Century, the most prominent composers succeded the most important positions in Venice. From the Flemish Adrian Willaert, to the Gabrieli, up to Claudio Monteverdi, they all devoted much attention to the madrigal.

Le capitali del madrigale
Firenze – Roma – Venezia – Ferrara – Mantova – Napoli – Palermo

Philippe Verdelot, Jacob Arcadelt, Costanzo Festa, Cipriano de Rore, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Andrea e Giovanni Gabrieli, Giaches de Wert, Giovanni de Macque, Luzzasco Luzzaschi, Luca Marenzio, Pomponio Nenna, Carlo Gesualdo, Claudio Monteverdi, Sigismondo d’India.
A journey around the madrigal through the most important cultural centers of the Italian Renaissance.

Gli “Oltremontani”
I maestri fiamminghi

Philippe Verdelot, Jacob Arcadelt, Adrian Willaert, Cipriano de Rore, Orlando di Lasso, Giaches de Wert, Giovanni de Macque.
The undisputed masters of musical art for more than a century, Franco-Flemish musicians have been the promoters of the madrigal and throughout the 16th century they have made a fundamental contribution to the evolution of this genre, which is so distinctive in Italian musical culture. The program is a due homage to the art of these masters.

L’Europa unita del madrigale

Philippe Verdelot, Jacob Arcadelt, Adrian Willaert, Costanzo Festa, Alfonso della Viola, Vincenzo Ruffo, Cipriano de Rore, Orlando di Lasso, Giaches de Wert, Giovanni de Macque, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Andrea Gabrieli, Alessandro Striggio, Luzzasco Luzzaschi, Luca Marenzio, Carlo Gesualdo, Claudio Monteverdi.
The madrigal is the perfect example of integration / dialogue between different disciplines and different cultures, being the combination of Italian poetry and Flemish-derived polyphony.
Throughout the fifteenth and first half of the sixteenth century the northern European and Flemish musicians dominated the Italian musical scene. They left their countries to hold the most important offices in Italian musical chapels. At the beginning of the 1500s the great cultural ferment of Humanism inspired some great musicians (Willaert in Venice, Verdelot in Florence, Arcadelt in Rome) to try a new “experiment”: to unite the great Italian poetry, of which Petrarca is considered the great master, to the polyphony of the Flemish school. The result was the madrigal. Success was so great that it conquered the whole Europe. If at first the Italian musicians remained in the background, then they acquired mastery and, towards the end of the 16th century, they became the masters of the musical scene. Therefore new “migration flows” happened towards the end of the century. On the one hand Italian musicians began to be requested in European courts and chapels, on the other hand the princes of the European courts sent their most promising young musicians to study in Italy.

Around Gesualdo
L’eredità musicale de principe di Venosa

Luzzasco Luzzaschi, Pomponio Nenna, Giovanni de Macque, Sigismondo d’India, Giuseppe Palazzotto Tagliavia, Carlo Gesualdo.
The unique personality of Carlo Gesualdo, so important in the Neapolitan cultural environment, affected an entire generation of musicians, greatly influencing their style and poetic choices. The program aims to bring to light an almost forgotten repertoire, which is rich in colors, expressiveness and Mediterranean warmth.

Luce e tenebre nei madrigali di Monteverdi e Gesualdo

Claudio Monteverdi, Carlo Gesualdo.
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio is universally celebrated for his ability, through the dramatic use of light and darkness, to represent men and things in their naked truth, as no one ever managed to do until then.
In the same way two almost contemporary musicians, Carlo Gesualdo and Claudio Monteverdi, have changed the history of music due to their ability to enhance the emotions aroused by the text, with intense colors and very strong contrasts, through a daring use of harmony and counterpoint. Gesualdo depicts the true, profound pain of modern man, descending into the abyss of the soul, tormented by endless suffering. Monteverdi, with his total adherence to the text, to the affections to express, and also with the moving representation of nature, fascinates us because he speaks directly to our sensitivity and tells emotions in which we still recognize ourselves today. After the passage of these three great artists, music and art will no longer be the same, and humanity will have found a new way, sublime and sincere, to express their own travails and emotions.

Il Pianto della Madonna
Madrigali e Travestimenti spirituali

Claudio Monteverdi, Carlo Gesualdo, Luca Marenzio.
The plaint is a predominant topic of both the early Baroque aesthetics and the Counter-Reformation propaganda. The monk and poet Angelo Grillo (1557-1629), in the foreword of his spiritual poems, declares the intention to involve emotionally the reader in order to lift his spirit, “almost trying to pull out with force, sighs from the heart and tears from the eyes”. The Medieval Sequenza Stabat Mater dolorosa, Maria weeping underneath the cross and the desire to share her pains, is surprisingly topical in the cultural climate of the end of the XVI century, but we can find only a few compositions that use exactly this text, during this period.
Nevertheless, the production of spiritual verses and musical compositions based on this theme is very rich in quality and quantity, you have only to think about the Lagrime di San Pietro, text by Luigi Tansillo and music by Orlando di Lasso, or at the Lagrime di Maria Vergine and the Lagrime di Gesù Cristo written by Torquato Tasso. As regards the composers, they enhance the intensity of the poetry by using all different expressive means. Therefore it’s perfectly comprehensible why in the Selva Morale e Spirituale of Monteverdi the author includes a Pianto della Madonna, “spiritual disguise” of one of his more intense and inspired compositions: the Lamento d’Arianna.

Responsoria – Carlo Gesualdo

(several options are proposed: it is possible to perform an anthology, to choose one of the three days, or to perform the complete Responsoria in three parts with breaks)
The troubled human story of Gesualdo and his religiosity, increased in the last years of his existence, are the source of inspiration for his last, grandiose and at the same time intimate masterpiece. Gesualdo creates a synthesis of all the abilities acquired in the madrigal and sacred polyphony, to give life to a representation of astonishing intensity of the passion, demonstrating a deep emotional participation in the sufferings of Christ up to identification.
The CDM’s interpretation of Responsoria has been acclaimed by international critics and has earned prestigious awards.

Tristis est anima mea
Il tema della passione nella musica di Gesualdo e Monteverdi

Claudio Monteverdi, Carlo Gesualdo.
The program brings together and compares compositions on the theme of the passion by Gesualdo and Monteverdi created in contexts and with very different aims.
The Responsoria by Gesualdo, probably composed for private use, constitute a grandiose and touching musical meditation on the theme of passion.
Monteverdi’s pieces are instead “spiritual disguises”, adaptations of profane works, by the poet Aquilino Coppini. In these reworkings the theme of passion is recurrent as well as in the Pianto della Madonna, a refined sacred transformation of the Lamento di Arianna. The greatness of Monteverdi’s music, endowed with its intrinsic spirituality, shines, perfectly adapting itself to the new sacred context.

Vergine bella
Il madrigale spirituale

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Orlando di Lasso, Luca Marenzio, Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi, Orazio Vecchi, Claudio Monteverdi.
The program presents a selection of spiritual madrigals, a trend born in the environment of the Controriforma and which is characterized by the presence of religious poetic texts in Italian. Famous composers, including Palestrina, Marenzio and Lasso, have devoted much attention to this current of the madrigal. Particular is the case of the compositions of Claudio Monteverdi, originally born as profane madrigals in Italian and later adapted to a spiritual text in Latin.

Vespri veneziani

Claudio Monteverdi, Alessandro Grandi, Francesco Cavalli, Giovanni Rovetta, Heinrich Schütz.

(several options are proposed: from 6 voices with organ up to 9 voices, 2 violins, violone, theorbo and organ)

The sumptuousness of the liturgical celebrations in San Marco at the time of Monteverdi was renowned and represented a source of pride for the city of Venice. In the program the compositions taken from the two most important sacred collections of the Venetian period of Monteverdi, the Selva Morale e spirituale of 1640 and Messa et Salmi published posthumously in 1650, alternate with pieces by authors of the same period in a sequence inspired by the Venetian liturgical practice.

Vespro della Beata Vergine, 1610 – Claudio Monteverdi

(several options are proposed:
1.Version for voices and BC: 11 voices, organ, violone, harp
2.Version with instruments a parti reali: 11 voices, 11 instruments
3.Version with large ensemble: 19 voices, 15 instruments)

Claudio Monteverdi’s famous sacred masterpiece needs no introduction. The CDM together with La Pifarescha and Cantica Symphonia propose an innovative version, the result of extensive research on tactus, proportions, tuning and on some hitherto neglected aspects of the performance practice. A reading that gives great importance to the meaning of the text and to the spiritual depth of this extraordinary composition.