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Le Madonne Lagrimanti
Early 17C Italian songs, plaints & cantatas

Nancy Long/Tragicomedia

London Independent Records LIR007

Belatedly issued, this 1988 recording was Tragicomedia's first, a cooperative labour of scholarship and love, as Nancy Long's acknowledgements indicate.

These songs arose from a movement to counteract the domination of counterpoint and replace it with natural declamation; melody to have primacy. Laments were the perfect subjects for expressive and dramatic monody. Varied continuo gave deeper and more colourful meaning to texts.

This is an intense musical journey through deplorations sacred and secular, given vivid life by Nancy Long's individual voice and the support of Stephen Stubbs, Andrew Lawrence-King and Erin Headley. Warmly recommended, but because of its concentrated intensity, I found this was a CD better played not straight through; I interspersed it by listening to groups of English virginals music on LIR's simultaneous release of David Pollock's new muselar CD; buy them both!

Full details at London Independent Records website


© Peter Grahame Woolf