Simon Russell Beale travels to Italy to explore the story of the notorious Duke of Mantua and his long-suffering court composer Claudio Monteverdi during the turbulent times of the late Italian Renaissance. Out of the volatile relationship between the duke and the composer came Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, a major turning point in western music. The Sixteen, led by Harry Christophers, explore some of the radical and beautiful choral music in this dramatic composition.
Mauro Bigonzetti is one of the leading choreographers of the Italian ballet which freed itself from the predominance of mainly classical opera companies in the 80’s. He created his choreographies mainly for the Aterballetto in Reggio Emilia that helped him to fame and worldwide attention. “When I think of Caravaggio, I think of the artist and the human being at the same time. These are the two sides of the human existence that interest me in particular. The relations of these two worlds are the inspiration for this work: the inner world on the one hand – and how it evolves artistically on the other.” Mauro Bigonzetti has developed the piece CARAVAGGIO in collaboration with the Staatsballett Berlin.
With her new album Simone Kermes presents her dedication to bel canto. Despite the title the Baroque soprano hasn’t suddenly switched from one voice type to another but is simply following her own interpretation of this term, arguing that bel canto is “inconceivable without reference to the Baroque tradition”.
Unanimously recognized as one of the leading interpreters of Monteverdi, Rinaldo Alessandrini's recordings of the Madrigals, the 1610Vespers, Orfeo, etc., have become standard references. In celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of his orchestras, Concerto Italiano, Rinaldo returns to his preferred composer creating, in the magnificent Basilica of Mantova, an imaginable Vespers service for San Marco assembled from various parts of the Selva Morale. In doing so he has found "the expressive logic which is at the heart of the liturgies for which this music was composed"
Gramophone Award-winning ensemble Arcangelo (in their first recording as a vocal and instrumental group) presents a selection from Monteverdi’s last three books of madrigals. These ardent and passionate works are microcosms of Monteverdi’s great operas, and among his most celebrated music.
This fiery performance of L'incoronazione di Poppea (referred to here as Il Nerone, the title used in Busenello's libretto) is driven by the resonant honesty of the characters' extreme and frequently volatile emotional states, which the soloists convey with singing of exceptional individuality, purity, and tonal beauty. The 2009 recording was made soon after a series of staged performances in France, Germany, and Italy, and it shows; the singers and instrumentalists have the freedom that comes from an easy familiarity with the score and with each other that allows them to perform with a spontaneity that sounds like they are making the music up on the spot. Characterizations are especially strongly drawn, and conductor Claudio Cavina is able to lead the group with the extremely flexible tempos that Monteverdi is known to have advocated. The instrumental ensemble is dominated by plucked strings, so the accompaniment initially sounds somewhat twangy and brittle, but the program notes make a strong case for the historical precedent for the use of these instruments, and the ear eventually adjusts to the sound.
24-bit remastered French exclusive compilation is packaged in a well designed digipak. 24 tracks performed by Louis Armstrong with various ensembles, His Hot Five, His Hot Seven, His Orchestra, Savoy Ballroom Five & others.