La Venexiana CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI Terzo Libro dei Madrigali

The dedication of the Terzo Libro di Madrigali a cinque voci, published in Venice in 1592 by Ricciardo Amadino, represents the first documentary evidence that we have of Monteverdi’s stay in Mantua, where the composer had been working since 1590 as an instrumentalist playing the viola at the court of Vincenzo Gonzaga. Being connected to one of the era’s most flourishing and active cultural centres could not but exert a profound influence on the composer’s stylistic and aesthetic principles. Indeed, this new collection from Monteverdi appears in many ways to reflect the ambience alive in Mantua. Two names stand out in the selection of literary texts employed by Monteverdi: Giovanni Battista Guarini and Torquato Tasso, both poets at the Ferrara court who nevertheless maintained close ties with Mantua. But it is in the change of expressive registers above all where the most significant innovations are to be best appreciated...
The Third Book of Madrigals stands as a landmark in the Monteverdian exploration of the internal life of the word, which the music picks up and amplifies with renewed sensitivity and force. On the other hand, the contrapuntal fullness of episodes such as found at the start of Se per estremo ardore prompts us to see in this collection also the culmination of a certain “classicism”, a brilliant and final affirmation of the possibilities of the prima prattica. This miraculous balance between tradition and innovation perhaps may be the reason for the extraordinary success of the publication. Five reprintings in less than two decades bear witness to the recognition which the composer’s own contemporaries rendered to the exceptional nature of the Third Book. (GLOSSA)

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  1. Thank you again ! La Venexiana is really great ! I can recommend the same set by Delitiæ Musicæ, conducted by Marco Longhini (Naxos), with only male voices as performed at that period.

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