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Cat. No. CHAN 0730 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 0730 - Monteverdi: Monteverdi Series: 1
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Available From: 01 November 2006
Under the expert guidance of Robert Hollingworth, I Fagiolini have created an imaginative approach to presenting often unfamiliar music, and their performances are always informed while communicating the spirit of the music instantly and vividly.

Flaming Heart seeks to show the full Monteverdi, a Monteverdi of both beauty and horror, colourful, vivid, and always completely alive. Unlike the ‘complete edition’ approach this series presents a much more imaginative selection of his works, beginning with the prologue from L’Orfeo and continuing with the very best of his works for a cappella ensemble, soloists and strings.

In this new series, I Fagiolini bring contemporary passion with up-to-date scholarship on issues from gut strings and continuo choices to ornamentation – this is a Monteverdi for both the 16th and 21st century.

On the Monteverdi performances:
…some of the most exquisitely intense vocal music ever written…

The Times

The result is undoubtedly an engaging and effective concert on disc that has gained much from I Fagiolini’s recent dramatised performances of the Fourth Book of Madrigals (soon to be issued on DVD).
BBC Music Magazine

Do not miss this wide-ranging survey on any account.
Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’

The performances are as beautiful as they are careful and stylish. The singers (there are seven in all) are highly expressive in solo stints and handsomely balanced in ensembles… This release guarantees both immediate and lasting satisfaction. It belongs in any decent Monteverdi collection.
American Record Guide

Engaging convincingly in the Italian baroque, the one-per-part singers sigh, plead and agonise like lovers in the unaccompanied choral recitatives (madrigals). Instruments are now part of the I Fagiolini fold now: solo madrigalists bathe in beautiful, moaning gut-strung violins, plunking chittarone and glittering harpsichord.
The Times

This is Monteverdi madrigal singing of the very highest order, bringing his whole kaleidoscope of emotions so vividly to life that the listener is drawn into the very heart of the music and enabled to experience something of the over-whelming impact which these sensational new pieces surely made on their first astonished hearers
Early Music Review

Monteverdi’s response to the pains and pleasures of love, is the proof it provides that the best way to convey the impression of spontaneity is to pay meticulous attention to detail. This is especially obvious in impassioned solos such as ‘Partenza amorosa’, an extended monologue in which Giles Underwood gives every word and note its proper, perfectly judged emphasis, and every phrase its proper pace and direction. In this way he conveys the fluctuations of the music’s emotional temperature, as hopeless, hushed heartbreak vies with violent outbursts of bitterness. Ensemble pieces benefit from the same approach… The singer’s fine performances are exquisitely enhanced by the continuo group’s rich sound and imaginative ornamentation.

Anyone who has ever loved and lost cannot fail to be moved by this.
Early Music Review

Though their repertoire stretches from ‘The Cries of London’ to improvised songs in Soweto, I Fagiolini are most seductive and persuasive in Monteverdi… Frankly you won’t hear madrigals better sung.
The Independent on Sunday

It’s put together with imagination, wit and profound admiration for the expressive power of Monteverdi’s word setting and every number is performed with the same combination of sterling values.
The Guardian

Whether in impassioned monologues or ecstatic ensemble pieces, I Fagiolini’s superbly responsive singing gives this collection of some of Monteverdi’s most vividly expressive madrigals a wonderful air of emotional spontaneity.
Telegraph ‘CDs of the year’

Critic’s Choice Richard Lawrence


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