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COMPOSERS: Gesualdo/Monteverdi
WORKS: Motets & Madrigals
PERFORMER: Monteverdi Choir/John Eliot Gardiner
CATALOGUE NO: 440 032-2 ADD (1970)
Recorded in 1969, the Monteverdi Choir’s interpretation of these mostly unaccompanied settings is impeccable in terms of the purity of voices and the singers’ musicianship. There is, however, an inappropriately spiritual atmosphere – a sense of treading too carefully and respectfully. More than half the texts here are secular and deal with love, lust (however veiled), anguish and grief, but for all the passion expressed here, the words might just as well be liturgical. Claire Wrathall