Princes of Light and Darkness--Monteverdi and Gesualdo
Crescendo presents a concert of motets and madrigals by Claudio Monteverdi and Carlo Gesualdo.
Monteverdi, the child of an apothecary, was born in Cremona, Italy in the mid-1500’s. One of the most famous composers of his time, he wrote music that bridged the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Observes Artistic Director Christine Gevert, “Though best known for his contributions to opera and sacred music, Monteverdi wrote successfully in every vocal genre. The motets and madrigals selected for this program show him at his best, creating music that evokes playful, silly, sad, joyful, even rapturous feelings.” Monteverdi led a long, busy and successful life as a composer, and toward the end of his life held the post of maestro di cappella at San Marco in Venice.
Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, was born a year before Monteverdi to a noble family in southern Italy. Ms. Gevert notes that, “Gesualdo’s vocal music is some of the most experimental and expressive of his time.” Renowned for his intensely dramatic madrigals and sacred music that used a chromatic language not heard again for three centuries, he was also notorious for the brutal killing of his wife and her lover. Gesualdo was a brilliant musician who, it is said, was tortured by guilt and depression, and gave expression to it in his work. His music conveys extremes of emotion including love, pain, death, agony and ecstasy.
Artistic Director Christine Gevert (organ) and Hideki Yamaya (theorbo) will accompany the singers. Christine Gevert conducts.