Daylight: Stories of Songs, Dances and Loves
Monica Piccinini, Raffaele Giordani, Salvo Vitale; Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini
Naïve OP 7366 57:36 mins
This is a sequel to Rinaldo Alessandrini’s 2017 Monteverdi recording, Night: Stories of Lovers and Warriors. It takes the story onwards to dawn with works celebrating the joys of dancing and singing in the sunlight, and the playful exchanges between lovers. Alessandrini tells us that this is his ‘ultimate and definitive’ expression of the love he has borne for Monteverdi for 40 years.
The celebratory mood is conveyed in energetic dance songs such Alle danze and the livelier madrigals and duets. As for the late operas by Monteverdi these were never recorded by Alessandrini, though he gives us a glimpse of what we have missed, particularly in the playful and flirtatious duet ‘Duri e Penosi’ from Il ritorno d’Ulisse, magically performed by Sonia Tedla and Valerio Contaldo. With so many of Monteverdi’s famous pieces included, it is tempting (if perhaps unfair) to make comparisons with great recordings of the past. The account here of the ravishing duet ‘Chiome d’oro’ though pleasing cannot quite match the rhythmic alertness and bell-like radiance of the performance by Emma Kirkby and Evelyn Tubb (on the Alto label), and the same is true of the duet ‘Zefiro torna’ compared with the bravura presentation by Ian Partridge and Nigel Rogers (on Archiv). That said, Alessandrini has fashioned a joyous coherence to this disc and, moreover, we should remember that his legacy extends much further than can be encompassed by a single recording.