Gramophone Award-winning ensemble Arcangelo (in their first recording as a vocal and instrumental group) presents
a selection from Monteverdi’s last three books of madrigals. These ardent and passionate works are microcosms of
Monteverdi’s great operas, and among his most celebrated music.
Most of the madrigals of Book 6 (1614) are songs of parting and loss. Book 7 (1619) is entitled Concerto, meaning that all
the works it contains require instrumental accompaniment. And Book 8 (1638) introduces the genere concitato—the
‘agitated’ manner that Monteverdi devised to convey the emotions of war, whether physical or psychological.
Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda sets an extended passage from Tasso’s epic poem Gerusalemme liberata. Tasso’s text,
set in the time of the first crusade, tells of the combat between the Christian knight Tancredi and the Saracen maiden
Clorinda. Most of the action of the Combattimento is conveyed by a narrator (Testo—the text), sung here by celebrated
tenor James Gilchrist.