Performers: Elisabeth Hermans (soprano), Els Van Laethem (soprano), Christel Boiron (mezzo-soprano), Cécile Kempenaers (mezzo-soprano), Caroline Magalhaes (mezzo-soprano), Marie-Claude Vallin (mezzo-soprano), Katelijne Van Laethem (mezzo-soprano), Pascal Bertin (alto), Peter De Groot (alto), Christopher Kale (tenor), Eric Mentzel (tenor), Eitan Sorek (tenor), Marius Van Altena (tenor), Harry Van Berne (tenor), Matthew Vine (tenor), Jasper Schweppe (baritone), Job Boswinkel (bass), Willem Ceuleers (bass, gravicembalo), Lieven Deroo (bass), Stéphan MacLeod (bass), Roberto Festa (recitant), Dolores Costoyas (lute, cittern), Charles-Eduard Fantin (lute, chitarrone, guitar), Eugène Ferré (lute, guitar), Philippe Malfeyt (lute, psaltery), Jerôme Blum (lute), Juan Sébastien Lima (chitarrone), Hannelore Devaere (harp), Marion Fourquier (harp), Françoise Johannel (harp), Ann Van Laethem (violin), René Van Laken (lira da braccio, cembalino, drum), Daniel Spector (lira da braccio), Mathieu Lusson (great bass viol), Paulina Van Laarhoven (lirone), Christine Kyprianides (viol), Ann Gail Schroeder (viol), Piet Strijckers (viol), Frank Liegeois (viol, gamba), Jan Van Den Borre (flute), Bart Coen (recorder), Peter Declercq (recorder), Baldrick Deerenberg (recorder), Jean Tubery (cornet), Jean Jacques Herbin (sackbut), Franck Poitrineau (sackbut), Joost Swinkels (sackbut), Serge Guillou (sackbut), Michèle Vandenbroucque (dulcian)
Playing time: 105'
Recording date: July 1997 (France); released: 1997
This is an expansive full rendition of the set of musical interludes composed to climax the wedding celebrations of Ferdinando de' Medici and Christine de Lorraine. The extravagant original performance engaged some of the most famous musicians of the era, perhaps headlined by some of the composers who would go on to compose the first oratorios & operas. In this case, it was Cavalieri who had charge of the overall musical conception, leading to some vicious arguments among the different composers. This series of musical scenes, originally designed as "intermedios" or intermissions to a stage drama must be seen as one of most important immediate precursors to opera. The score was published in 1591 by Cristofano Malvezzi, including several notes on instrumentation.
The present interpretation emphasizes this proto-Baroque aspect in the overal conception, although pieces by composers such as Marenzio continue to be in what might be called the Renaissance madrigal style.
Other recordings dedicated to this famous music:
A recording devoted to Cristofano Malvezzi (1547-1599):
Other lavish Florentine celebrations of the period:
Finally, an earlier recording by the present ensemble, featuring a somewhat analogous production in Mantua:
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To FAQ CD index page.Todd M. McComb