Gesualdo: Madrigals Book 4 (Naxos: 8.572137) (Delitiae Musicae/ Marco Longhini)
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Gesualdo's Fourth Book of Madrigals contains some of the most inspired and anguished vocal works in the entire madrigal repertoire, written while the composer was tormented by remorse after the murder of his wife and her lover. This collection is filled with technical innovation and extremes of expressiveness in its setting of highly dramatic texts. Unexpected dissonance, harmonic twists and elusive asymmetries all serve to dismantle the compositional rules of the period. Previous volumes in this series have been widely acclaimed. The Guardian described Book 2 (8.570549) as having"great beauty and lyrical force".
Delitia e Musica e's acclaimed survey of Monteverdi's Madrigals and their previous volumes of Gesualdo make this Fourth Book of Madrigals self-recommending. MusicWeb International found that"repeated listenings only serve to reveal the depth and the beauty of Gesualdo's achievement", and Gramophone revelled in the series'"upward trajectory", both when describing the previous volume of Book 3 (8.572136).
The unconventional yet impassioned interpretations by Delitia e Musica e and Marco Longhini are seen as an important element in the regeneration of Italian Renaissance and Baroque music. The ensemble is under exclusive contract to Naxos for the fourteen-CD collection of the Complete Madrigals by Monteverdi and now for the six-CD collection of Complete Madrigals by Gesualdo.