Monteverdi, Cavalieri, Cazzati, Bertali, Legrenzi, etc

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Bertali,Cavalieri,Cazzati,etc,Legrenzi,Monteverdi
LABELS: Vanguard
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Che Soave Armonia
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Tirami Su/Erin Headley
Tirami Su is a mixed ensemble of violins, viole da gamba, harpsichord or organ, and plucked instruments together with a soprano and a bass vocalist. ‘Che soave armonia’ is the title of a programme in which Monteverdi’s music has the lion’s share. Other composers who get a look-in include Cavalieri, Cazzati and Legrenzi. The sequence of pieces is well-chosen and varied and, by and large, very well performed. Contributions by soprano Laurie Reviol made particular appeal. She has a light voice with a pleasing, communicative timbre and sings the madrigal ‘Con che soavita’ and a version of the Lamento d’Arianna with clarity and emotional sensibility. She is joined by bass Harry van der Kamp in two linked pieces by Antonio Bertali which form a lament for Charles the First’s consort Henrietta Maria. Van der Kamp’s role, which he fulfils with his customary resonant clarity, is that of narrator. While most readers who love Monteverdi’s music will be familiar with his inspired madrigal setting for two voices over an ostinato bass of Rinuccini’s ‘Zefiro torna’ they may, like me, be disappointed to find that Tirami Su performs an instrumental arrangement of it rather than the original vocal one. Headley argues her case for so doing with ardour and enthusiasm but the result, skilfully contrived though it is, failed to eradicate from my mind for one second the composer’s lyrical vocal responses to the poem. An entertaining release, nonetheless. Nicholas Anderson