Stravaganza d'Amore!

Stravaganza d'Amore!

by Pygmalion


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The intermedi, or entr'actes, at the giant spectacles attending Medici family weddings, were extensively described in contemporary sources, but the music, since it was intended for a one-off event, was not notated. Further, there has been no tradition of restaging these events, which even now would require something on the order of Donald Trump resigning the presidency and taking a sudden interest in music of the late Renaissance. All of which makes this speculative effort by the fine, French, vocal-instrumental ensemble Pygmalion especially welcome. Director Raphaël Pichon assembles existing works of various kinds -- madrigals, dances, instrumental "sinfonias," solo cantatas, excerpts from the earliest operas, and the brand-new, experimental genre of monody -- into five intermedi that could have been sung at the Medicis' elaborate ceremonies. The composers are mostly forgotten figures of the era: Jacopo Peri, Giulio Caccini, Marco da Gagliano, Luca Marenzio, and others. The juxtaposition of these forms within dramatic wholes, more than monody itself, was what gave birth to opera; without that, monody would have remained simply a novelty among a group of Florentine humanist intellectuals. The little dramas, of a lightly pastoral nature, hang together well. The singing is strong, and Pichon uses large enough choral groups to create an imposing effect. And even better than that is Harmonia Mundi's superb sound, from the Chapelle Royale at Versailles, which captures the scope and the open ambience of the palatial Florentine spaces where this music would first have been heard. You also get a 160-page, hardback booklet that rivals the releases of Jordi Savall in sumptuousness, with wonderful illustrations of the original intermedi. An important purchase for those interested in the birth of opera, and enjoyable for anyone.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/30/2017
Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
UPC: 3149020228623
catalogNumber: 902286
Rank: 131111


  1. O che nuovo miracolo, à 5 / à 3
  2. Coppia gentil d'aventurosi amanti, madrigal for 6 voices
  3. A voi reali amanti, à 15
  4. Dolcissime sirene, à 6
  5. Ballo de Gran Duca, for 3 viols, theorbo & harpsichord
  6. Euridice, opera: Scène 5: Ma che più, a 5
  7. Euridice, opera: Scène 5: Gioite al canto mio
  8. Euridice, opera: Scène 4: Trionfi oggi pietà / O fortunati miei
  9. Udite, lagrimosi spirti d'Averno, udite, madrigal for 5 voices (Il sesto libro de madrigali a 5 voci)
  10. Euridice, opera: Scène 4: Funeste piagge
  11. Work(s): Sinfonia, a 6 / Spirto del Ciel (Primo ballo della
  12. Euridice, opera: Scène 2: Cruda morte / Sospirate, aure celesti
  13. Euridice, opera: Scène 2: Non piango e non sospiro
  14. Euridice, opera: Scène 2: Lassa, che di spavento
  15. Euridice, opera: Scène 1: Al canto, al ballo, a 5
  16. Primo Ballo detto della "Notte d'Amore," for 6 parts
  17. La Dafne: Scène 6: Bella ninfa fuggitiva, a 5
  18. La Dafne: Scène 6: Un guardo, un guard'appena
  19. Sinfonia à 6 No. 1 from La Pellegrina (Primo Intermedio: L'armonia delle sfere)
  20. La Dafne: Scène: Piangete, o ninfe
  21. O mille volte mille, madrigal for 8 voices
  22. La Dafne: Scène 1: Poi giacque estinto al fine
  23. Apollo affronta il serpente, intrada for 6 parts
  24. Qui di carne si sfama, madrigal for 12 voices
  25. La Dafne: Scène 1: Ohimè che veggio, a 5
  26. O qual risplende nube, à 6
  27. Dal vago e bel sereno à 6
  28. Donne il celeste lume, madrigal for 9 voices (Il quarto libro de madrigali a 6 voci)
  29. O giovenil ardire, intermedi
  30. Non havea Febo ancora, aria
  31. Ineffabile ardore, chorus for 6 voices (from the opera "Il Rapimento di Cefalo")
  32. La dipartita è amara, madrigal for 6 voices (Il quarto libro de madrigali a 6 voci)
  33. Ineffabile ardore, chorus for 6 voices (from the opera "Il Rapimento di Cefalo")
  34. O, che felice giorno, for voice & lute
  35. Ineffabile ardore, chorus for 6 voices (from the opera "Il Rapimento di Cefalo")
  36. O fortunato giorno, à 30
  37. Stravaganza d'amore! - Toccata (after "La Renuccini" by G. Fantini)

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