Monteverdi: Duets & solos

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Monteverdi
LABELS: Regis
WORKS: Duets & solos
PERFORMER: Emma Kirkby, Evelyn Tubb (soprano), Consort of Musicke/Anthony Rooley (lute)
CATALOGUE NO: RRC 1060 Reissue (1986)
I’ve listened to this enchanting disc many, many times since it first appeared 15 years ago. Presentation

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is immeasurably improved now: perceptive, well-documented notes by Tim Carter; text and translations, essential in this madrigalian genre where words and music are inextricably interdependent. While ‘Penelope’s Lament’ is truly distraught (Tubb), ‘Exulta filia’ breathtakingly elated (Kirkby), it’s the blend yet individuality of these two precious voices which set the disc apart – squeezing out biting dissonances, floating together in rapturous parallels, distinctive in entwining counterpoint. Reissuing can’t expunge a couple of string mistunings or the low recording level, but this is a disc I would not be without. George Pratt