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Ponte Dei Sospiri

PONTE DEI SOSPIRI

 

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Ohimè se tanto amate

 Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)
Sospir che del bel petto

 Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613)
Qual fora, donna

 Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656)
Weep no more thou sorry boy & Yet again, as soon revived

 Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613)
Giotie voi col canto

 Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Rimanti in pace 

* * *

Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)
Mi saluta costei

 Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Tutte le bocche belle

 Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613)
Languisce al fin

 Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)
Dunque addio

 Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656)
O let me live for true love & O let me die for true love

 Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)
Fuggi, o mio core

Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613)
S’io non miro non moro

 

The selection of madrigals in this programme all draw their primary inspiration from the varied manners of sighing (sospiri), an affect which can demonstrate the most broad selection of emotional nuances. The new, intensely expressive, word-led musical style of the seconda prattica meant that visceral sentiments of grief, joy, lust, and relief could be explored more tangibly, using unprepared, wrought dissonances and highly chromatic harmonies. The majority of these composers share an Italian heritage, from the inimitable Carlo Gesualdo and Claudio Monteverdi, to their Venetian trained successor Heinrich Schütz; however the Welsh-born Thomas Tomkins provides an accomplished exception, showing remarkable moments of chromatic adventure that seem more than comparable with his Italian counterparts. Within the programme, the physical response of sighing is expressed in much of the music either as a central motif, or as a reaction to the other trials and tribulations inflicted upon the protagonist. That this human expression is so seamlessly, and varyingly, depicted in music has meant it has become a fundamental feature of the Italian madrigalian style, and of the early Baroque period itself.