Gesualdo: Responses for Good Friday

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COMPOSERS: Gesualdo
LABELS: Erato
WORKS: Responses for Good Friday
PERFORMER: Ensemble a Sei Voci
CATALOGUE NO: 4509-97411-2 ADD (1983)
Gesualdo’s aristocratic birth gave him unusual freedom to explore his own extraordinary and idiosyncratic approach to 16th-century contrapuntal practice. In this account of the Responses for Good Friday, the Ensemble a Sei Voci brings its own appropriately highly mannered performance style to Gesualdo’s startling musical language. Clear recording enhances the Ensemble’s satisfyingly robust resonance, and strongly profiled dramatic contrasts bring out every drop of the music’s passion. Some may find these highly charged readings too potent, but the Ensemble’s finely judged intonation is impressive. With less than forty minutes on the disc, could we not have had more? Nicholas Rast

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