Further evidence of rich and pictorial artistry in the interpretation of Italian madrigals comes from La Compagnia del Madrigale as they now bring all their experience to bear on the early five-part works of Luca Marenzio. The ensemble’s new Glossa recording is set to reflect la dolce vita in Rome in the 1580s and 1590s, and both music and text in Marenzio’s 'Primo Libro di Madrigali a cinque voci' powerfully evoke this age of gold in the arts and sciences, with sumptuous patronage from cardinals and princes.
Marenzio’s 'Primo Libro' (a huge success when published) adds another jewel to Glossa’s madrigalian crown: as well as the Gesualdo Book Six from the same group, there is much Monteverdi, of course, and the Marenzio Books 6 and 9 and Gesualdo Books 4 and 5, all recorded by La Venexiana (which shares many of the same singers as La Compagnia). In addition to the madrigals from the 'Primo Libro' the new recording contains the rarely-performed 'Sestina Mentre ti fui sì grato', co-written by six members of the Renaissance collective known as the ‘Musici di Roma’ (Nanino, Moscaglia, de Macque, Soriano, Zoilo and Marenzio himself).
Once again, the recording benefits from an entertaining essay courtesy of Marco Bizzarini, which vividly sets the scene for the musical life of Luca Marenzio in the Eternal City.
Recorded in Roletto, Italy, in September 2010 and February 2011.