Monteverdi: Arias &Laments for solo voice

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COMPOSERS: Monteverdi
LABELS: Naïve Astrée
WORKS: Arias &Laments for solo voice
PERFORMER: Montserrat Figueras (soprano), Ton Koopman (harpsichord, organ), Andrew Lawrence-King (harp), Rolf Lislevand (theorbo), Paolo Pandolfo (bass viol), Lorenz Dufschmid (violone)
CATALOGUE NO: ES 9955 Reissue (1991)
The programme here is a mixture of secular and sacred pieces which is, for the most part, very well sung and in which the voice is, throughout, sensitively and imaginatively accompanied by a small but varied continuo group. The most substantial items are the ‘Lettera amorosa’ from Monteverdi’s seventh book, the lament, ‘Lasciate me morire’, the lone survivor of his opera Arianna (1608), and the later, musically linked ‘Lament of the Madonna’, contained in the Selve morale e spirituale (1640). Soprano Montserrat Figueras brings expressive fervour and tonal purity to her performances. Her inflections come across naturally and her diction is pretty good. Just occasionally she fails to settle in the middle of a note but the lapses are rare. An excellent reissue. Nicholas Anderson