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David A. McConnell
MusicWeb International, August 2012

Delitiae Musicae has reached the fourth book in their recordings of Gesualdo’s complete Madrigals, and in many ways it is their best effort…the level of technical and musical accomplishment has developed throughout…

The singing on this album is simply phenomenal. Intonation is virtually flawless, and they offer just the right mix of homogenous and individual sound. The shaping of phrases, the ebb-and flow, as well as the constantly changing dynamics is effortless—this is a group who seem to be of one mind, an essential aspect of the best madrigal singing. Additionally, the chosen keys often add to the expressive potential: most of these texts convey darker emotions, and there is thrilling emotional immediacy when the baritone and bass move into their lowest registers.

The recording is excellent, the voices crystal clear, with the continuo instruments used selectively, which adds another layer of variety to these performances. The notes also include full texts, an absolute must when listening to any madrigal. These are the best performances yet in an already strong series of recordings—and there is no better way to get to know this wonderful music—I anxiously await their recording of Book 5! © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Mark Sealey
MusicWeb International, June 2012

Just listen to the variations in tempi and dynamic of Luci serene e chiare. It’s the first track of this fourth volume in the excellent series of Gesualdo’s madrigals from Delitiæ Musicæ under Marco Longhini on Naxos. To hear this is to appreciate how effective care and attention to every nuance should be when singing what is often seen as a dark corner of the Renaissance vocal repertoire.

It goes on that way: the six singers and keyboard player (Carmen Leoni) treat every piece by the usually only anthologised Gesualdo as its own gem. They approach each madrigal almost as if it were Gesualdo’s only one. This could, admittedly, lead to a laboured and self-conscious style. It doesn’t. The Italian group’s familiarity with and obvious love of Gesualdo’s world sees to that.

Instead, our response is anticipation for each next madrigal while thoroughly savouring the particularities of the one we’re listening to.

If you’ve already been attracted to this excellent series, don’t hesitate to add this to the collection. It’s also a convincing and sensitive enough set of performances to encourage you to start and explore the lot. The Fifth Book is eagerly awaited. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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