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Gesualdo: Quinto Libro di Madrigali (1611)

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Customer Reviews

life and death for five voices

This album takes a different approach than the Hilliard Ensemble's Gesualdo album ("Tenebrae"). In addition to bass, baritone, tenor, and countertenor (all men), La Venexiana includes two sopranos. The result is a sound that is neither better or worse, just different, and I'm glad I own both albums. The material is different, too; Gesualdo's madrigals are much more varied in mood than the church music of "Tenebrae." A few of them even sound --- dare I say it? --- lighthearted! Cavina and La Venexiana do a fine job here. Their purity of tone, their ability to navigate the frequently complex harmonies and tempo changes, makes this a genuinely delightful album to listen to. Gesualdo's music has been described as "death for five voices." That's not *always* the case here, and all 20 tracks of this lovely, lively album are a treat. Buy it; you'l be listening to it again and again.


Genre: Classical

Claudio Cavina is one of the leading Italian countertenors of his generation. He studied with Candace Smith and Cristina Miatello, then received specialized training from Kurt Widmer at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. He has collaborated with many important international vocal ensembles, such as Concerto Italiano, the Huelgas Ensemble, La Colombina, Al Ayre Espanol, the Clemencic Consort, and the Elyma Ensemble. He has appeared in recital, concerts, and operas at venues such as La Fenice in Venice,...
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