Monteverdi; your favourites

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Fergus
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Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:10 pm

I really like the music of Monteverdi but my collection is somewhat limited so I am looking for recommendations on how to expand my collection....so what are your favourite works and favourite performances please.

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by stenka razin » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:27 pm

'L'Incoronazione di Poppea' is a wonderful opera with a gorgeous final duet.

Harnoncourt and Gardiner on CD are recommendable. 8)


'Vespro della Beata Vergine' is simply sublime music.

Harnoncourt and Gardiner are top choices, yet again. 8)

Lots more, but, I will let others of our CMGer's elaborate on their choices. 8)
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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:45 pm

This is not a difficult assignment given the circumscribed nature of Monteverdi's body of work. There are basically four major works plus a highly mannered Mass, and then a large number of madrigals. Frankly, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse and L'Incoronazione di Poppea are special(ist) works whose enjoyment depends on appreciation of a particular manner of setting Italian declamation. They are considered masterpieces by cognoscenti but are not as accessible to non-Italians. So enjoy Orfeo and the Vespers, and maybe check out some madrigals. :)

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Donaldopato » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:16 pm

I Know only the Vespro della Beata Vergine well. Sublime does not really describe this music.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. - Albert Einstein

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by josé echenique » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:22 pm

Well, I have loved Monteverdi for decades, and here are some of my favorite recordings:

1. The Vespro della Beata Vergine was the work that introduced me to Monteverdi way back in 1975 when I was a teen. I first heard it in Harnoncourt´s 1967 recording and was a revelation. Of course it has been superseded, but I still treasure Nigel Rogers´s performance. How funny, now it can be considered a historic document. The next recording I bought, was the Archiv version with the marvelous Regensburger Domspatzen and members of the Pro Cantione Antiqua London that included celebrities like Paul Esswood and Ian Partridge. It´s one of the few recordings to use all-male singers and to include the 2 versions of the Magnificat and the Missa in illo Tempore. I am still very fond of this recording and I think it has aged amazingly well.
The second Gardiner recording also in Archiv is extremely beautiful. Recorded in the tricky acoustics of the San Marco Basilica it´s very atmospheric, and oh yes, you get the very young Bryn Terfel as one of the basses.
Since then there have been many other recordings, most of them good, by every baroque specialist you care to mention: Jacobs, Herreweghe, Christie, Bernius, McCreesh, etc., but I feel Rinaldo Alessandrini´s version to be the most idiomatic, the most Italian, and by far the best sung. With the likes of Roberta Invernizzi and Sara Mingardo, Monteverdi couldn´t be in better hands.

2. For the Madrigals you have 2 options: Concerto Italiano and la Venexiana, and even at that most members of la Venexiana started in Concerto Italiano. It´s no wonder Concerto Italiano has won every award out there for their recordings of the madrigals, you will look in vain for another group that savors the Italian language like them. For many, many decades, since the times of Nadia Boulanger, it was foreigners who were discovering Monteverdi, the Italians were looking elsewhere, but then they discovered him and now Monteverdi has been repossessed. Good for them and for us. This is how Monteverdi should be performed: sexy.
That said there is an excellent recording of the Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi with Concerto Vocale and René Jacobs. It is obviously very well made, what I miss is the inimitable way Concerto Italiano articulates the language.

3. L´ Incoronazione di Poppea. One of the greatest operas ever written. Most of the recordings have their points but none is perfect. Forced to choose I would go with Gardiner, even though I am not quite convinced by the Nero and the Poppea. The Harnoncourt recording, a landmark in it´s time, now sounds a little dated. If you don´t want spend that much money, there is an old recording with Alan Curtis and his Complesso Barocco in Fonit Cetra. It was recorded live at La Fenice and Curtis has the right idea. His singers are also very good.

4. Il Ritorno d´Ulisse in Patria. Another masterpiece. René Jacobs has a very good recording in Harmonia Mundi, throughly recommendable, but maybe you will find no better Ulisse than William Christie´s on dvd. Actually there are 2, because there´s a newer version filmed at the Teatro Real in Madrid which I haven´t seen, but I doubt it improves on his Aix-en-Provence performance on Virgin. Marvelously acted and sung, it´s one of the best opera dvds you can buy.

5. L´ Orfeo. This is difficult. No recording is 100% satisfactory. For many years my favorite was Jürgen Jürgens recording in Archiv because of Nigel Rogers, and even though his performance has not been bettered on disc, the orchestra sounds dated. Philipp Pickett has recorded it but I don´t find it very exciting. When Gardiner recorded it with Anthony Rolfe Johnson I thought it could be the Orfeo we were waiting for, but unfortunately Johnson had a vocal crisis precisely at the time of the recording and he doesn´t sound at his best. René Jacobs is mostly good but it was very strange that he chose and English tenor who specializes in 19th Century French Opera for Orfeo. In the past 2 years there have been recordings with Concerto Italiano and La Venexiana. I was very disappointed to find out that Alessandrini had chosen the bass Furio Zanasi as his Orfeo. He had filmed the part for dvd with Jordi Savall and is impossibly boring, so he is in the audio recording. A great pity since everything else is great.
The recording by La Venexiana is very acceptable. It´s not my dream Orfeo but it can be bought with confidence.

I would recommend you to start with Concerto Italiano´s fabulous recording of Combattimento di Tancredi et Clorinda, it´s only 1 cd, and start from there.

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Heck148 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:24 pm

Fergus wrote:I really like the music of Monteverdi but my collection is somewhat limited so I am looking for recommendations on how to expand my collection....so what are your favourite works and favourite performances please.
Monteverdi is a wonderful composer - I have several discs tha tI really enjoy - plus some new ones that I'm just delving into -
highly recommended -

Madridals 8th Book - Madrigals of love and War - Jordi Savall conducting La Capella Reial de Catalunya/Astree - great stuff, fascinating variety...I hear new things every time I listen to these.

Scherzo Musicial for 3 Voices - Naxos - Vartolo/concerto delle Dame di Ferrara

wonderful short selections - again great variety - love the bass - who really gets down and sits on those low pitches...

I just recently got a disc of Madrigals from Book 1 - so I'm digging into those..
Monteverdi is terrific - definite heavy-hitter.

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by josé echenique » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:34 pm

This is the Gramophone review of the Alessandrini Vespers:

Monteverdi
Vespro della Beata Vergine
Roberta Invernizzi sop Monica Piccinini, Anna Simboli mezs Sara Mingardo contr Francesco Ghelardini counterten
Luca Dordolo, Vincenzo Di Donato, Gianluca Ferrarini tens Pietro Spagnoli, Furio Zanasi bars Daniele Carnovich, Antonio Abete basses Concerto Italiano / Rinaldo Alessandrini Naive 0 0 0P30403 (105' • DDD • T/t)
Long-awaited and demanding to be heard — however you like your Vespers
Rinaldo Alessandrini has waited long before committing to disc his thoughts on Monteverdi's most famous sacred publication. On the issues that have divided modern performers he is unflappably pragmatic. In keeping with Concerto ltaliano's general approach, the vocal lines in 'choral' pieces are taken by soloists who step out of the ensemble, on the grounds, he says in the notes, that 'we possess no sources attesting choral performance of this music'. (He is not the first conductor to do so: Philip Pickett chose the same path more than 10 years ago.)
Alessandrini sticks to the published order, observing that no single liturgical event can account for the presence of every piece in the collection (he regards the title as indicating the collection's generic appropriateness to a variety of Marian vespers contexts). Finally, he transposes the Lauda Jerusalem and the Magnificat on the grounds that failure to do so would entail enlarging the overall ensemble. This is not the place to debate the merits of each of these decisions, which continue to divide scholars. Suffice it to say that a clear vision results which has the virtue of coherence, though it comes at the cost of dramatic effects that many continue to hold dear.
A 'Minimalist' vespers, then? Yes and no. Gone are the Cecil B DeMille blockbuster effects (the choral eruption in the Audi, caelum, for instance, or the electrifying opening of the Magnificat. But those who regard such effects as slightly portentous (I include myself) would respond that the music doesn't need a later-Baroque ripieno conception for such moments to send a chill down the spine. The build-up at Magnificat starts here with the nakedness of a single voice, just as moving in its way. More generally, the notion that this iconic work wasn't conceived on the grand scale in which some performers dress it up in no way diminishes the greatness of the music.
Other details of execution aren't quite so persuasive. In some of the later psalms, rhythmic detail tends to get lost in the overall sound. Whether or not this is due to acoustic or other recording variables, it lessens one's appreciation of Monteverdi's contrapuntal virtuosity, and gives a certain 'floaty' quality Oust before the doxology of Lauda Jerusalem, or in much of Nisi Dominus) that can be distracting. Not for Alessandrini the pinpoint precision and analytical clarity of, say, the Monteverdi Choir — and fair enough; but on occasion, a clearer rhythmic purpose wouldn't have gone amiss.
I was also less than convinced by Furio Zanasi's Nigra sum, which sounds uncertain, and sometimes falls short in tuning. Among the men, the soloists in Audi coelum are, dramatically, far surer of themselves; and among the women, Monica Piccinini and Roberta Invernizzi deliver a Pulchra es every bit as sensuous as one could hope for. Alessandrini's instruments give wonderfully punchy accounts of the Sonata, and the sackbuts and continuo come wonderfully close to impersonating a percussion section at times. The latter, incidentally, are more a presence in their own right than on any other recording I can recall.
1 2 >

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by josé echenique » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:36 pm

Second part:

My reservations, then, are largely local in nature; but I can well imagine that others, whose conception of the work is more fixed than mine, may fail to be convinced. Put mischievously, there is something here to displease nearly everyone — not that Alessandrini would mind: his notes show him to be in typically combative mood. But there are many moments that will return you to the music more violently; and what so distinguished a Monteverdian has to say must be taken seriously. Fabrice Fitch

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:49 pm

josé echenique wrote: 2. For the Madrigals you have 2 options: Concerto Italiano and la Venexiana, and even at that most members of la Venexiana started in Concerto Italiano. It´s no wonder Concerto Italiano has won every award out there for their recordings of the madrigals, you will look in vain for another group that savors the Italian language like them. For many, many decades, since the times of Nadia Boulanger, it was foreigners who were discovering Monteverdi, the Italians were looking elsewhere, but then they discovered him and now Monteverdi has been repossessed. Good for them and for us. This is how Monteverdi should be performed: sexy.

That said there is an excellent recording of the Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi with Concerto Vocale and René Jacobs. It is obviously very well made, what I miss is the inimitable way Concerto Italiano articulates the language.
Actually, Jose, that's not strictly true, there is also a series on Naxos by Marco Longhini and Delitiae Musicae, my preference is for La Venexiana although I own the Concerto Italiano recordings as well, the Naxos are not quite as good but Glossa CD's are three times the price of the Naxos discs, also, both La Venexiana and Delitiae Musicae have both now started recording Gesualdo's Madrigals...there is also a Montiverdi meets Jazz CD that just came out from Roberta Mameli and La Venexiana, the music is played as written but includes a saxophone, accordion, double bass and drums, but, I have not had a chance to listen to it yet...
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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by val » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:24 am

Regarding the operas:
Orfeo (Harnoncourt, with Kozma and Berberian). "L'Incoronazione di Popea" (Harnoncourt with Donath, Soderstrom and Berberian) and the Lamento of Ariana with Berberian and Harnoncourt or von Otter/Lindberg.

The Madrigals:
The 6th and 8th Book, by Alessandrini.

Also, the Lettera Amorosa (Maria Crstina KIehr), "Il Ballo del'Ingrate" and Lacrime d'amante nel Sepolcro del'Amata (William Christie), Il Combatimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (Malagutti/Loehrer or Alessandrini).

And obviously, Vespro della Beata Virgine (Monoyos/Gardiner or Figueras/Saval).

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by bombasticDarren » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:15 pm

Image

A highly recommendable set of the Vespers...

Image

...and a fine first offering from a forthcoming series by this ensemble :)

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by John F » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:28 pm

stenka razin wrote:'L'Incoronazione di Poppea' is a wonderful opera with a gorgeous final duet.
Second the motion. Also Arnalta's lullabye for Poppea, which is written for the alto voice, but I don't believe anyone can have sung it more beautifully than Ezio Pinza:

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:19 pm

val wrote: And obviously, Vespro della Beata Virgine (Monoyos/Gardiner or Figueras/Saval).
Don't rule out Jacobs, Christie or King...
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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:23 pm

val wrote:Regarding the operas:
Orfeo (Harnoncourt, with Kozma and Berberian). "L'Incoronazione di Popea" (Harnoncourt with Donath, Soderstrom and Berberian) and the Lamento of Ariana with Berberian and Harnoncourt or von Otter/Lindberg.
I also recommend Claudio Cavina with Ensemble La Venexiana for Orfeo on Glossa...Harnoncourt for Popea...
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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:28 pm

Nadia Boulanger has some of the Madrigals and Duets on a disc coupled with Charpentier's Medee, she really was a remarkable woman...
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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Chalkperson » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:30 pm

John F wrote:
stenka razin wrote:'L'Incoronazione di Poppea' is a wonderful opera with a gorgeous final duet.
Second the motion. Also Arnalta's lullabye for Poppea, which is written for the alto voice, but I don't believe anyone can have sung it more beautifully than Ezio Pinza:

That can also be found on an Aria Compilation disc on GOP...
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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by John F » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:10 pm

Chalkperson wrote:Nadia Boulanger has some of the Madrigals and Duets on a disc coupled with Charpentier's Medee, she really was a remarkable woman...
Hugues Cuenod sang in her ensemble at the beginning of his career. When I was at Leeds Grammar School, some teacher played this 1937 record, I don't remember what the occasion was:



Cuenod is perfectly matched by the less well known tenor Paul Derenne. There's something ecstatic about this record, I don't know how else to put it.
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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:33 pm

stenka razin wrote:'L'Incoronazione di Poppea' is a wonderful opera with a gorgeous final duet.

Harnoncourt and Gardiner on CD are recommendable. 8)

I have that work but not by either of those conductors....they (at least the Gardiner) should have been my first choice. This obviously needs to be remedied as I was not too taken with the performance and, as we all know, a poorer performance can so cloud one's judgement of a work :roll:

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:36 pm

[quote="stenka razin"'Vespro della Beata Vergine' is simply sublime music.

Harnoncourt and Gardiner are top choices, yet again. 8)

[/quote]

This one I got at the very beginning and I was/have been so impressed with it over the years that I have no other version of this work :D

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:39 pm

jbuck919 wrote:This is not a difficult assignment given the circumscribed nature of Monteverdi's body of work. There are basically four major works plus a highly mannered Mass, and then a large number of madrigals. Frankly, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse and L'Incoronazione di Poppea are special(ist) works whose enjoyment depends on appreciation of a particular manner of setting Italian declamation. They are considered masterpieces by cognoscenti but are not as accessible to non-Italians. So enjoy Orfeo and the Vespers, and maybe check out some madrigals. :)
I am definitely not one of the cognoscenti John, hence my request for help in this area. Thank you for your succint breakdown of Monteverdi's body of work :D

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:41 pm

Heck148 wrote: Madridals 8th Book - Madrigals of love and War - Jordi Savall conducting La Capella Reial de Catalunya/Astree - great stuff, fascinating variety...I hear new things every time I listen to these.

Scherzo Musicial for 3 Voices - Naxos - Vartolo/concerto delle Dame di Ferrara

wonderful short selections - again great variety - love the bass - who really gets down and sits on those low pitches...

I just recently got a disc of Madrigals from Book 1 - so I'm digging into those..
Monteverdi is terrific - definite heavy-hitter.
Thank you for those recommendations as I would not have thought of Savall in this area :idea:

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:52 pm

val wrote:Regarding the operas:
Orfeo (Harnoncourt, with Kozma and Berberian). "L'Incoronazione di Popea" (Harnoncourt with Donath, Soderstrom and Berberian) and the Lamento of Ariana with Berberian and Harnoncourt or von Otter/Lindberg.

The Madrigals:
The 6th and 8th Book, by Alessandrini.

Also, the Lettera Amorosa (Maria Crstina KIehr), "Il Ballo del'Ingrate" and Lacrime d'amante nel Sepolcro del'Amata (William Christie), Il Combatimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (Malagutti/Loehrer or Alessandrini).

And obviously, Vespro della Beata Virgine (Monoyos/Gardiner or Figueras/Saval).
Orfeo I do have with Gardiner.
Lamento of Ariana I do not have at all so thank you for that.
Regarding the Magrigals I do have Allessandrini's Book IV and really liked that disc.
Il Ballo del'Ingrate and Il Combatimento di Tancredi e Clorinda I also have, both with Pickett so thank you for the alternative suggestions and recommendations Val :D

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:55 pm

bombasticDarren wrote:Image Image
Thank you for that Darren; that Parrot always gets a mention whenever the Vespers come up.
That second disc looks interesting too :D

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:56 pm

John F wrote:
stenka razin wrote:'L'Incoronazione di Poppea' is a wonderful opera with a gorgeous final duet.
Second the motion. Also Arnalta's lullabye for Poppea, which is written for the alto voice, but I don't believe anyone can have sung it more beautifully than Ezio Pinza:
Thank you for that John :D

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:58 pm

Chalkie, thank you for your contribution and your recommendations are all duly noted as always :wink:

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:59 pm

José I am not ignoring you my friend :wink:
I have obviously struck a chord with you here and I simply want more time to read and digest your contribution more fully. Thank you for that :D

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by stenka razin » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:02 pm

Fergus wrote:[quote="stenka razin"'Vespro della Beata Vergine' is simply sublime music.

Harnoncourt and Gardiner are top choices, yet again. 8)
This one I got at the very beginning and I was/have been so impressed with it over the years that I have no other version of this work :D[/quote]


Fergus, I am happy you have experienced the same pleasure, I have, my friend. :D :D :D :D
Image

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by josé echenique » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:07 pm

Fergus wrote:José I am not ignoring you my friend :wink:
I have obviously struck a chord with you here and I simply want more time to read and digest your contribution more fully. Thank you for that :D
You are welcome, Fergus, I love to talk about the great Claudio Monteverdi, so it was fun.
Take your time to make your choices, but whatever you choose it surely is going to be an enjoyable recording, in fact I can´t think of a really bad Monteverdi recording.

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by erato » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:34 pm

The BBC DVD with Jacobs conducting and Keenlyside is wonderful, the untraditional (though eminently believable) choreography is mesmerizing.

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by aurora » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:04 pm

the final duet from Poppea- 'Pur ti miro'- is one of those pieces that never fails to get me when it's well done, so a few years ago I scrounged the internet looking for a version that I liked.. and I do mean scrounged. I sifted through all kinds of flotsam at Amazon and listened to countless clips and ended up buying a cheesy compilation called 'Classical Love Album', just for that version with Sylvia McNair . (edit- if you go try to listen to the song at the previous link, the track listings are off by one. This is the correct link to the audio clip)


more recently I came across a clip at Youtube that I absolutely love- the staging leaves a bit to be desired (inclding a butt-grope) but the singing blows me away:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXW-le3oLIM

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:47 pm

stenka razin wrote:
Fergus wrote:[quote="stenka razin"'Vespro della Beata Vergine' is simply sublime music.

Harnoncourt and Gardiner are top choices, yet again. 8)
This one I got at the very beginning and I was/have been so impressed with it over the years that I have no other version of this work :D

Fergus, I am happy you have experienced the same pleasure, I have, my friend. :D :D :D :D[/quote]


Mel, the mention of that recording always brings back a memory of a trip to Venice that my family and I made a few years ago. One afternoon, my wife and daughter went off shopping and I made my way to the Basilica in San Marco where I spent the afternoon in a quiet, dark corner listening to the entire work on my headphones. It was quite heavenly and a memory that I will cherish forever :D

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:48 pm

erato wrote:The BBC DVD with Jacobs conducting and Keenlyside is wonderful, the untraditional (though eminently believable) choreography is mesmerizing.
Thank you for that erato as I had not considered DVDs :wink:

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:55 pm

aurora wrote:....more recently I came across a clip at Youtube that I absolutely love- the staging leaves a bit to be desired (inclding a butt-grope) but the singing blows me away:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXW-le3oLIM
Yes, the backdrop certainly does require some getting used to but the performance is as lovely as you say....thank you for that :D

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by josé echenique » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:47 pm

I have heard concerts in San Marco and the acoustics are like anything else I have heard elsewhere.

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:27 pm

josé echenique wrote:Well, I have loved Monteverdi for decades, and here are some of my favorite recordings:

1. The Vespro della Beata Vergine was the work that introduced me to Monteverdi
I have the Gardiner version but you make a compelling case for Harnoncourt and Alessandrini.

2. For the Madrigals you have 2 options: Concerto Italiano and la Venexiana, and even at that most members of la Venexiana started in Concerto Italiano.... This is how Monteverdi should be performed: sexy.
That said there is an excellent recording of the Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi with Concerto Vocale and René Jacobs. It is obviously very well made, what I miss is the inimitable way Concerto Italiano articulates the language.

I agree with your assessment of how the Madrigals should be performed and these two ensembles do seem to be mentioned with some regularity.


3. L´ Incoronazione di Poppea. One of the greatest operas ever written. Most of the recordings have their points but none is perfect. Forced to choose I would go with Gardiner, even though I am not quite convinced by the Nero and the Poppea.

I did not realise that Gardiner had a version of this so I am immediately interested!

4. Il Ritorno d´Ulisse in Patria. Another masterpiece. René Jacobs has a very good recording in Harmonia Mundi, throughly recommendable, but maybe you will find no better Ulisse than William Christie´s on dvd.

I am somewhat peculiar in that I do not really like to watch music being performed on DVD so that seems to limit my options somewhat here and therefore Jacobs seems to stand out.

5. L´ Orfeo. This is difficult.

You seem to have a problem with a final recommendation for this one but no matter as I have the Gardiner version and that will keep me going for the moment

I would recommend you to start with Concerto Italiano´s fabulous recording of Combattimento di Tancredi et Clorinda, it´s only 1 cd, and start from there.

Thank you for all of the considered advice José....it is very much appreciated.

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Lance » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:46 pm

I can't speak much about Monteverdi as knowledge about his work is limited even though I am familiar with some of his most famous works (Poppea, for example). I'm wondering if anyone ever heard the live performance recording of Leopold Stokowski conducting "Vespro della Beata Vergina" with the Oratorio Society of Illinois. It's rare Stokowski, for sure, and a bit surprising that Stokie would delve into this repertoire.

I also have an unusal work, the Monteverdi in the Respighi arrangment of "Orfeo" with Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting with the New York Philharmonic (live, 1952), with Mack Harrell and Charles Kullman as soloists (published by Nickson Records).
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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by josé echenique » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:25 pm

Fergus wrote:
josé echenique wrote:Well, I have loved Monteverdi for decades, and here are some of my favorite recordings:

1. The Vespro della Beata Vergine was the work that introduced me to Monteverdi
I have the Gardiner version but you make a compelling case for Harnoncourt and Alessandrini.

2. For the Madrigals you have 2 options: Concerto Italiano and la Venexiana, and even at that most members of la Venexiana started in Concerto Italiano.... This is how Monteverdi should be performed: sexy.
That said there is an excellent recording of the Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi with Concerto Vocale and René Jacobs. It is obviously very well made, what I miss is the inimitable way Concerto Italiano articulates the language.

I agree with your assessment of how the Madrigals should be performed and these two ensembles do seem to be mentioned with some regularity.


3. L´ Incoronazione di Poppea. One of the greatest operas ever written. Most of the recordings have their points but none is perfect. Forced to choose I would go with Gardiner, even though I am not quite convinced by the Nero and the Poppea.

I did not realise that Gardiner had a version of this so I am immediately interested!

4. Il Ritorno d´Ulisse in Patria. Another masterpiece. René Jacobs has a very good recording in Harmonia Mundi, throughly recommendable, but maybe you will find no better Ulisse than William Christie´s on dvd.

I am somewhat peculiar in that I do not really like to watch music being performed on DVD so that seems to limit my options somewhat here and therefore Jacobs seems to stand out.

5. L´ Orfeo. This is difficult.

You seem to have a problem with a final recommendation for this one but no matter as I have the Gardiner version and that will keep me going for the moment

I would recommend you to start with Concerto Italiano´s fabulous recording of Combattimento di Tancredi et Clorinda, it´s only 1 cd, and start from there.

Thank you for all of the considered advice José....it is very much appreciated.
You are welcome Fergus, I am really happy you are interested in Monteverdi since he is one of the capital composers of all time, there´s really an "after" and a "before" Claudio Monteverdi.
With the Vespro and Orfeo Baroque music is being born before your eyes (or ears).
Keep telling us of your listening experiences.

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Ted Quanrud » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:15 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
josé echenique wrote: 2. For the Madrigals you have 2 options: Concerto Italiano and la Venexiana, and even at that most members of la Venexiana started in Concerto Italiano. It´s no wonder Concerto Italiano has won every award out there for their recordings of the madrigals, you will look in vain for another group that savors the Italian language like them. For many, many decades, since the times of Nadia Boulanger, it was foreigners who were discovering Monteverdi, the Italians were looking elsewhere, but then they discovered him and now Monteverdi has been repossessed. Good for them and for us. This is how Monteverdi should be performed: sexy.

That said there is an excellent recording of the Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi with Concerto Vocale and René Jacobs. It is obviously very well made, what I miss is the inimitable way Concerto Italiano articulates the language.
Actually, Jose, that's not strictly true, there is also a series on Naxos by Marco Longhini and Delitiae Musicae, my preference is for La Venexiana although I own the Concerto Italiano recordings as well, the Naxos are not quite as good but Glossa CD's are three times the price of the Naxos discs, also, both La Venexiana and Delitiae Musicae have both now started recording Gesualdo's Madrigals...there is also a Montiverdi meets Jazz CD that just came out from Roberta Mameli and La Venexiana, the music is played as written but includes a saxophone, accordion, double bass and drums, but, I have not had a chance to listen to it yet...
There's another -- if you can find it. Anthony Rooley and his superb Consort of Musicke recorded all 9 books of the madrigals on their now sadly defunct Musica Oscura label. Although I marginally prefer the efforts of La Venexiana and Concerto Italiano, the English ensemble is well worth seeking out, especially for the soprano numbers that showcase Dame Emma Kirkby.

I have dozens of Monteverdi recordings, but if I could have just one, it would John Eliot Gardiner's DVD of the Vespers, recorded in the very venue for which they may have been intended -- San Marco in Venice. Hook up your TV monitor to your stereo for a sonic and visual and purely artistic spectacular.

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by MaestroDJS » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:00 am

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643): L'Orfeo (1607)
Filmed by director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle in a Baroque setting at Zürich Opera House in 1978, with Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducting period instruments.



Nikolaus Harnoncourt, direction
Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, direction
Philippe Huttenlocher (Orfeo)
Dietlinde Turban (Euridice)
Trudeliese Schmidt (Music, Hope)
Roland Hermann (Apollo)
Glenys Linos (Messenger, Proserpina)
Werner Gröschel (Plutone)
Hans Franzen (Caronte)
Peter Keller (First Shepherd)
Francisco Araiza (Second Shepherd, First Spirit)
Ballet de l'Opéra de Zürich
Choeur de l'Opéra de Zürich
Das Monteverdi ensemble
Pet Halmen, costumes
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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by josé echenique » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:09 am

I love the Harnoncourt/Ponnelle Monteverdi cycle, I have it both on dvd and cd since TELDEC briefly issued the soundtracks on cd in the 90´s. The Zurich Opera House must be congratulated for being one of the first theaters to use period instruments. Now when their orchestra plays in period instruments it´s called La Scintilla.
It´s a pity the Poppea is heavily cut, but there are many treasurable performances from the likes of Rachel Yakar, Philippe Huttenlocher and Eric Tappy. Visually, it´s a gorgeous show

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:37 pm

josé echenique wrote:
Keep telling us of your listening experiences.
I will José and, of course, my future purchases based on all of the above recommendations 8)

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:42 pm

Ted Quanrud wrote: There's another -- if you can find it. Anthony Rooley and his superb Consort of Musicke recorded all 9 books of the madrigals on their now sadly defunct Musica Oscura label. Although I marginally prefer the efforts of La Venexiana and Concerto Italiano, the English ensemble is well worth seeking out, especially for the soprano numbers that showcase Dame Emma Kirkby.
I actually bought the set below about a year ago Ted....

Image

....it contains Books 4 & 5; I could not resist hearing Kirkby in this music.


I have dozens of Monteverdi recordings, but if I could have just one, it would John Eliot Gardiner's DVD of the Vespers, recorded in the very venue for which they may have been intended -- San Marco in Venice. Hook up your TV monitor to your stereo for a sonic and visual and purely artistic spectacular.
Chalkperson wrote:
josé echenique wrote: 2. For the Madrigals you have 2 options: Concerto Italiano and la Venexiana, and even at that most members of la Venexiana started in Concerto Italiano. It´s no wonder Concerto Italiano has won every award out there for their recordings of the madrigals, you will look in vain for another group that savors the Italian language like them. For many, many decades, since the times of Nadia Boulanger, it was foreigners who were discovering Monteverdi, the Italians were looking elsewhere, but then they discovered him and now Monteverdi has been repossessed. Good for them and for us. This is how Monteverdi should be performed: sexy.

That said there is an excellent recording of the Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi with Concerto Vocale and René Jacobs. It is obviously very well made, what I miss is the inimitable way Concerto Italiano articulates the language.
Actually, Jose, that's not strictly true, there is also a series on Naxos by Marco Longhini and Delitiae Musicae, my preference is for La Venexiana although I own the Concerto Italiano recordings as well, the Naxos are not quite as good but Glossa CD's are three times the price of the Naxos discs, also, both La Venexiana and Delitiae Musicae have both now started recording Gesualdo's Madrigals...there is also a Montiverdi meets Jazz CD that just came out from Roberta Mameli and La Venexiana, the music is played as written but includes a saxophone, accordion, double bass and drums, but, I have not had a chance to listen to it yet...
There's another -- if you can find it. Anthony Rooley and his superb Consort of Musicke recorded all 9 books of the madrigals on their now sadly defunct Musica Oscura label. Although I marginally prefer the efforts of La Venexiana and Concerto Italiano, the English ensemble is well worth seeking out, especially for the soprano numbers that showcase Dame Emma Kirkby.

I have dozens of Monteverdi recordings, but if I could have just one, it would John Eliot Gardiner's DVD of the Vespers, recorded in the very venue for which they may have been intended -- San Marco in Venice. Hook up your TV monitor to your stereo for a sonic and visual and purely artistic spectacular.
That is one of the few Classical Music DVDs that I do own 8)

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Re: Monteverdi; your favourites

Post by Fergus » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:47 pm

MaestroDJS wrote:Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643): L'Orfeo (1607)
Filmed by director Jean-Pierre Ponnelle in a Baroque setting at Zürich Opera House in 1978, with Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducting period instruments.
Thank you very much for posting that....I enjoyed it :D

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