Mantua and Ferrara, the two poles between which the Fourth Book, inaugural disc of this collection, travels, are also emblematic of two distinct yet complementary identities: not geographical alone, but lifestyles and ways of questioning the reality of feelings as well. As never before, the result of Monteverdi’s madrigals is an agile dialectic of metamorphosing gestures, techniques, forms and colours. In this musical journey between Mantua and Ferrara, the equilibrium sought is not static. Rather, it is subject to constant variation and recomposing.
A little farther on, monody and the basso continuo await the composer. By the Fifth Book (1605) Monteverdi will allude to these technique more explicitly, clearing the path for radical changes that will definitively alter the madrigal and project the genre into the sphere of the new Baroque sensibility. (GLOSSA)