|COLLECTION - ANTICO MODERNO - CAPRICCIO STRAVAGANTE ENSEMBLE - DORON SHERWIN (CORNETTO) - JULIEN MARTIN (RECORDER) -
JOSH CHEATHAM (VIOLA DA GAMBA) - SKIP SEMPÉ (HARPSICHORD) - FRANCOISE JOHANNEL (HARP) - CAPRICCIO STRAVAGANTE ENSEMBLE -
The subtitle to this new 2009 recording is Renaissance Madrigals Embellished and is comprised mainly of pieces that are very rarely performed or recorded,
if at all. They are instrumental ornamented arrangements of madrigals written by the likes of Palestrina, de Rore, Arcadelt, Lasso and Sandrin. As Skip Sempé
explains in the CD booklet notes, many new instruments were invented during the Renaissance period, and new composers then were keen on experimenting with new techniques and styles, and an easy
and quick way to accomplish that was by ornamenting pre-existing melodies. Some of these melodies would not survive today if it wasn't for the musicians and composers of the day that 'embellished'
those works. Some of these composers were Francesco Rognoni, Diego Ortiz, Giovanni Battista Spadi, to name but some, and even include Doron Sherwin, the cornetto player in this recording.
And thanks to these re-arrangers and to Skip Sempé's research and to the specialist musicians on this beautiful disc, we are able to hear and enjoy these obscure Renaissance madrigals in a way that sheds new light
on a period of florid musical development.
Let me say that the excellent musicians in this recording are true specialists of this type of music and perform it with an authenticity that defies belief. The instruments used are all based on period originals.
For example, even though the Cornetto was made this year, in Montreal, by Matthew Jennejohn, it sounds exactly like an instrument from the 1500's, and is played here by Doron Sherwin in a true Renaissance style.
Even the order in which the pieces are laid out on the disc has been well planned, so that from one to the next, there is a constant variety of instrumental combinations which helps keep the sound fresh and interesting during the full 66 minutes of play.
From start to finish, I was impressed by the quality of the music offered here, and by the beauty of the recorded sound. Madrigals were vocal works, but even without the voice and the text, these instrumental versions
bring the beauty of the Renaissance right into your listening room and shed new light on these old masters.