With Il pianto della Madonna, a collection of spiritual compositions by Claudio Monteverdi, La Compagnia del Madrigale provide a stunning follow-up to their award-winning recording of the Fifth Book of madrigals by Luca Marenzio – both releases from Glossa. The singers of the ensemble have returned to their favoured Piedmontese recording location in Roletto to create a vivid sound picture of the desire in Monteverdi’s own time to bring the “heavenly harmony” of the composer’s secular works into the service of the religious domain (and that despite Post-Tridentine restrictions on such secular “intrusions”).
Here, for example, is presented the spiritual version of the celebrated Lamento d’Arianna from the lost opera Arianna – Il pianto della Madonna – and sung in a distinctive polyphonic reworking prepared especially for La Compagnia del Madrigale. Pastoral concerns in Monteverdi’s madrigals, such as in the Fourth and Fifth Books, make way for reflections on the Crucifixion or the Nativity through the new religious texts supplied by the likes of Angelo Grillo and Aquilino Coppini, which nonetheless fit the music more than aptly.
Included also are some of Monteverdi’s own religious compositions, as published by Giulio Cesare Bianchi, and including the extensive Litaniae lauretanae.
In the booklet essay Marco Bizzarini brings his deep understanding of the interplay of words and music in Italy in Monteverdi’s time, underscoring the skill, experience and sheer musicality of La Compagnia del Madrigale.
photos © Giorgio Vergnano