Drawing upon Italian and German sacred music written during the Counter-Reformation, this program reveals a dramatic fusion of the spiritual realm with the secular world. The motets, arias, villanellas and sacred symphonies presented here all mix depictions of experiences of heavenly love and earthly desires, and offer the listener an intimate yet intense musical experience.
This program aims to demonstrate how composers such as Kapsperger, Sances, Monteverdi and his pupil Schütz masterfully matched the religious themes and eroticism found within their textual material with their music, crafted in subtle and ultimately fascinating ways.
For Li Fiori, his sixth book of villanellas (Rome, 1632), Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger chose a group of poems by Francesco Buti to set to music. While the cycle recounts tales of well-known figures of classical mythology and their association with various flowers, Buti's poetry constitutes a dramatic expression of life's impermanence. Kapsperger fashioned lively rhythms, lyrical melodies and brilliant harmonies to create scenes of exceptional beauty. This program presents the book's solos and duets along with instrumental works from Kapsperger's contemporaries.
For centuries, Kapsperger's seven books of villanellas were largely forgotten; in making the first recording of Li Fiori, vivante contributed to the rediscovery of this valuable work.
This program, whose debut occurred at the early music festival Resonanzen at the Vienna Konzerthaus in 2007, contains melodious and dance-rhythm-based songs in tender pastoral scenes, lively recitatives and passionate melodramas. Its focus on the music of Claudio Monteverdi and Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger posits both classic and rarely-heard madrigals of a most prominent figure of music history against the moving villanellas of a composer still in the process of being rediscovered.
Elementi e Temperamenti
Inspired by humanism's view of man as constituting the center of the world, poets and musicians of the seventeenth century were occupied with formulating ideas about self-identity in ways that shape how we think about ourselves to this day. They looked to man's experience among nature and the elements to describe the depths of our human existence.
Depictions of nature within the texts included in this program build metaphors in order to gain access to our souls' inner activity. In works by composers such as Barbara Strozzi, Claudio Monteverdi, Nicholas Lanier and Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger, what first appears to be the simple account of a landscape ultimately reveals itself to be an attempt to approach the identification of our existential orientation.