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Carlo Gesualdo

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An Italian composer of motets (settings for sacred texts) and madrigals (settings for secular texts). As Ernst Krenek once said, "If Gesualdo had been taken seriously in his time as he is now, music history would have taken an entirely different course." From the amazing works of Gesualdo's contemporary Lassus, back to the strange smoking songs of Johannes Symonis and Solage in the 1300s (Ars Magis Subtiliter, Ensemble PAN, New Albion Records NA 021), extreme chromaticism has always been around, and perhaps it's more realistic to view it as a means of expression for some of our more unusual experiences. But the austere, graceful, often slowly developing and surprisingly changing interior feeling of Gesualdo's work exerts the unnameable fascination of an unknown world. Gesualdo's music and bizarre life are still being admired and debated. Even Igor Stravinsky became a Gesualdo fan and wrote a Monumentum pro Gesualdo. ~ Blue Gene Tyranny

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