With Carlo Gesualdo’s Third Book of madrigals La Compagnia del Madrigale continue their dynamic new view of late Renaissance Italian repertory, which has seen the vocal ensemble garlanded with critical praises and prizes since the time of its initial Glossa release – Gesualdo’s Sixth Book – three years ago. Although Gesualdo’s Third Book came out but one year after his first two books, it manifests a transitional style that led into the “late style” of the Fifth and Sixth Books. In his essay Marco Bizzarini develops this idea and points to the darkening of Gesualdo’s psychological profile at the time, which is mirrored in the melancholic nature of the madrigals in the Third Book. In the texts, joy and grief are frequently intermingled – yet each time freshly considered – and although there are named writers such as Battista Guarini present, many of the texts are anonymous; the inference being that Gesualdo himself might have been their author. Musically, the development is signalled especially by a greater use of violent dissonance than before, and demonstrating that Gesualdo could creatively reflect highly-charged emotions in music through counterpoint: no need for monody for him. In these exposed and unaccompanied madrigals, La Compagnia del Madrigale blends its trademark expertise and vocal freshness to take the listener on a fascinating sound journey. So as to provide a yet more nuanced view of the time of composition of Gesualdo’s Third Book, the ensemble adds works by Scipione Stella, Luzzasco Luzzaschi and Alfonso Fontanelli.