Album: Monteverdi, Primo e Nono – La Venexiana/Cavina (Glossa)

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La Venexiana's beautifully produced survey of Monteverdi's madrigals concludes with the composer's first and last sets. Published in 1587, the first book of madrigals reveals poised suspensions in "Baci soavi e cari", piping bird-like effects in "Fumia la pastorella", and contained sophistication in "Se nel partir da voi".

Published in 1651, the Ninth Book is largely devoted to seductive canzonetti for two and three voices and continuo. The voices are weak but consistently stylish, despite balance problems. The continuo team of theorbo, harp and harpsichord is simply fabulous.