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Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, September 2017

Delitiae Musicae approaches the music with loving care and period rigor.

Throughout the course of the program, the continuo is a constant, the singers are assigned solo, duo, and other small configurations in contrast with the tutti passages. Similarly, the ensemble instrumental groups appear variably according to the demands of the score.

Highly recommended. © 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Catherine Moore
American Record Guide, September 2017

Marco Longhini, Delitiae Musicae, and the Naxos label are all to be applauded for completing their series of all eight books of Monteverdi madrigals. It’s even more important to note that the quality of the performances is extremely high. Technical prowess is always in the service of the music, and Marco Longhini is not averse to pushing his all-male ensemble to extremes of slow or fast tempos or to special vocal effects such as the lovely nasal smirkiness at the start of ‘Gira Il Nemico Insidioso’ and the murky, mumbled underworld language sung by the shades of Hell in ‘Ecco Ver’ Noi L’Addolorate’. With regard to tempo, having the ability to sing slow sections of ‘Gira Il Nemico Insidioso’ exceptionally slowly means that the fast sections that follow don’t have to be so lightning fast that it’s impossible to give them any depth or character. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Dave Lewis
WTJU, August 2017

Longhini’s singers do an excellent job of contending with these various vocal challenges and maintaining a high level of performance and interpretation throughout all four discs in this set.

…Longhini and Delitiae Musicae have brought to these lesser heard Monteverdi madrigals an artistry and sense of continuity that is equal to, and sometimes better than, more common realizations of his three surviving operas. © 2017 WTJU Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2017

It is now sixteen years ago that Marco Longhini and his Italian ensemble embarked on this massive project to record the complete madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi. Originally published in books, we have now reached the Eighth, and most extended book that was then divided into three sections, the whole work is not that far short of four hours of performing music. With the comprehensive programme notes that have come with each of the preceding seven volumes, Longhini illuminates the life of the composer, who was at this point in his ‘Indian Summer’. What we know of this Eighth Book would point to Monteverdi’s intention to offer it as a gift for the recently installed Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand III. It had come some nineteen years after the Seventh and was really a compendium of madrigals written through much of his life. Presented under three headings—Madrigali guerriereri (Madrigals of War), Madrigali amorosi (Madrigals of love), and Madrigali reppresentative (Madrigals of the stage)—which includes one of his best known works, the Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda—and in total offers twenty-two madrigals. By this time he had moved his home from Mantua, and having been bestowed with the title Maestro di Cappella della Serenissimo Republica, was firmly established in Venice where the book was eventually published in 1638. As Longhini has pointed out in previous releases, the instruments to be used is largely left to the performers, and in the composer’s day would probably have depended on those available. In this series of discs he has opted for a ‘middle-of-the-road’ approach, so as not to become ornate, yet providing more that an obliging backdrop. In the vocal group there are, of course, no female voices in music of that period, so that much rests on the shoulders of the outstanding countertenor, Alessandro Carmignani. Yet again I will heap praise on the sonorous bass voice of Walter Testolin, who sounds to have a Russian parentage somewhere in the family tree, his deep voice having that earthy delight. Solos permeate all of the madrigals, and when numerous voices are used, the Delitiae’s blend is a pure joy. Without sight of the scores I take that the dynamics used or added by Longhini are simply those within keeping of the words and music. Indeed his approach throughout this series has that feel of dedication and authenticity, the music continually intriguing, immediately likeable, and, in every way, it has been a wonderful experience with this as its crowning glory. The engineers have once again played their part in the clarity of texture they have created. It is terribly sad that it is coming to an end, but there remains just one more book, the unfinished Ninth, that was published after the composers death. © 2017 David’s Review Corner





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