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Monteverdi Sacred & Secular - Aix-en-Provence

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Wed 15 Apr, 8.30pm

POSTPONED, Grand Théâtre de Provence, Aix-en-Provence, France

Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner - conductor


O ciechi, il tanto affaticar, SV 252 (from Selva morale e spirituale, 1641)
Dixit Dominus II ‘concertato’, SV 264 (from Selva morale e spirituale, 1641)
Confitebor III ‘alla francese’, SV 267 (from Selva morale e spirituale, 1641)
Salve Regina I (Audi coelum), SV 283 (from Selva morale e spirituale, 1641)
Beatus vir I ‘concertato’, SV 268 (from Selva morale e spirituale, 1641)
Hor che’l ciel e la terra, SV 147 (8th Book of Madrigals, 1638)
Lamento della ninfa, SV 163 (8th Book of Madrigals, 1638)
Sestina – Lagrime d’amante al sepolcro dell’amata, SV 111 (6th Book of Madrigals, 1614)
Ballo delle ingrate, SV 167 (excerpts) (8th Book of Madrigals, 1638)

In Spring 2020, the forces behind the MCO’s acclaimed 2017 Monteverdi Trilogy project reunite with John Eliot Gardiner to explore the richness and emotional intensity of the composer’s more intimate music.

In his operas Orfeo, Poppea and Ulisse, Monteverdi’s musical illumination of poetry brought his characters to life with palpable humanity; each of the madrigals performed in this programme, taken from the composer’s sixth and eighth books, vividly realise the poetic voice of jealousy, regret, grief and erotic desire. They are set against sacred works – many from the Selva morale e spirituale, the large collection he published near the end of his life – which are similarly colourful elucidations of their texts, by turns mystical and celebratory.

These duets, trios, and larger-scale pieces evoke Monteverdi’s world at the highly cultured court of the Dukes of Gonzaga in Mantua, and later, in the republic of Venice, where he was commissioned to write music for various institutions as well as for the Basilica of St Mark, where he was maestro di cappella. Among these works is the sensuous and mercurial setting of Petrarch’s evocation of nocturnal amorous torment, ‘Hor che’l ciel e la terra’, with its extraordinary final phrase which perhaps best encapsulates the variety, virtuosity and sensitivity of repertoire which gave the Monteverdi Choir its name.

Led by John Eliot Gardiner, members of the Monteverdi ensembles and a stellar group of soloists present this exploration of Monteverdi’s sacred and secular works on a tour of Europe’s finest concert halls.