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Monteverdi: Madrigali Guerrieri et Amorosi, Libro 8 ()

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This three-disc box combines several recordings by the Concerto Italiano and leader Rinaldo Alessandrini, dating back to 1998; the result is a complete set of Monteverdi's madrigals of Book Eight. The word "madrigal" was fast losing its meaning by this late stage in Monteverdi's career, and the works contained here are of various kinds. One can get the highlights -- the intensely dramatic Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Il ballo delle ingrate (here on disc one) by themselves, but there's a strong case to be made for hearing all the music as it was grouped in the seventeenth century. Monteverdi essentially forged the language of opera in his madrigals -- from some Florentine experiments in Greek declamation he evolved an ever more precise musical language of affects and emotions. This language reaches its peak in the eighth book, and the shorter madrigals show the subtlety of Monteverdi's genius by providing a counterpoint to the large dramatic works. It's possible to find recordings of Il... Hide synopsis

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