LABELS: Decca Double Decca
WORKS: Fourth Book of Madrigals; Fifth Book of Madrigals
PERFORMER: Consort of Musicke/Anthony Rooley
CATALOGUE NO: 455 718-2 1982-86
For the uninitiated, the prospect of hearing 49 mainly unaccompanied madrigals may appear daunting. Yet any doubts are swept away by the sheer variety, exuberance and expressive qualities of Monteverdi’s musical language, as well as by the total commitment of the performers. There’s a marvellous bonus too, with the inclusion of a number of extended madrigals from the wonderful Eighth Book where Monteverdi developed the genre to its highest point.