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April 16   -   Guardian

Monteverdi: Madrigali and Selva morale CD review – a fascinating overview

Les Arts Florissants/Christie (Harmonia Mundi)

As we begin 450th anniversary celebrations for Monteverdi, what better way to encounter the range of his astonishing genius than in this four-CD overview of his madrigal and small-scale dramatic output by William Christie and Les Arts Florissants. Recorded over several decades from 1980, the fresh voice of Guillemette Laurens (so moving in Lamento della Ninfa) has given way to younger singers in the Selva morale, recorded in 1986, and then the mini opera Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda in 1992, dominated by Nicolas Rivenq’s stirring baritone. This is a fascinating history of recent performance as well as a celebration of eternally powerful music.

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