Gesualdo

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20180330

Donald Macleod concludes his account of the unusual life and music of Carlo Gesualdo.

Donald Macleod concludes his account of the extraordinary life and music of Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa. By the time Gesualdo publishes his collection of Responsaries for Holy Week, and his final books of madrigals, he is a sick man, beset by various physical and mental infirmities. Nevertheless, he appears to be determined to secure his future reputation as a musician, and to secure the future of the house of Gesualdo. Estranged from his sole surviving heir from his first marriage, he is briefly reconciled with his son Emmanuele, only to be devastated when that son is killed in a hunting accident, leaving no direct male heir. With the effective extinction of the male line, Gesualdo loses hope and turns his face to the wall. His final publications, printed in his very own castle, secure his reputation as an ingenious, if somewhat unhinged, composer of madrigals and motets.

Moro lasso (Sixth Book of Madrigals)
La Compagnia del Madrigali
Glossa GCD922801

Sicut ovis ad occisionem; Ierusalem, surge; plange quasi virgo (Tenebrae Responses for Holy Saturday)
Tenebrae Consort
Nigel Short, director

Ardita zanzaretta; Gia Pansi; O dolce mio tesoro; Alme d'amor rubelle(Sixth Book of Madrigals)
Il Complesso Barocco
Alan Curtis, director

Astiterunt reges; Aestimatus sum; Sepulto domino (Tenebrae Responses for Holy Saturday)
Tenebrae Consort
Nigel Short, director

Tribularer si nescirem; O Crux benedicta
Odhecaton
Ensemble Mare Nostrum
Andrea de Carlo, director.