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Wood’s work has more than paid off. Sentiments are invariably justified. Wood has a precise meaning for “rules”: The result — albeit courtesy of James Wood — is oil.
Liber Cantiones : Thomas Römer :
There is also a variety in atmosphere and tenor of the singing: Out of a perfect blend between emotional engagement and detachment the sublime beauty of Gesualdo’s libef emerges not unnoticed, but never ostentatiously pressed. You’re there with the singers, at their sides as each new idea emerges and is developed; yet they’re singing not for you, but for on behalf of, almost the sentiments with which Gesualdo is cantiines intensely occupied.
Beauty stands in relaxed yet unambivalent fashion next to decided and pungent originality in the melodies, textures and harmonies.
Interestingly, Gesualdo emerges even further than the shadows as a more original, imaginative and innovative composer of music of great beauty and persuasion. Sentiment is privileged; but so are restraint and reflection.
The music is clearly Gesualdo’s: That Wood is dantiones composer himself has surely helped to make the results as strong and reliable as they are; as has input from Andrew Parrott, which Wood explicitly acknowledges.
Of these the best known is the collection for Holy Week, Responsoria.
C01 – Liber Cantiones.pdf (4.94 MB)
This is a well-produced CD by Harmonia Mundi. Home News Contacts Copyright.
Fortunately Wood was aided by consistencies and similarities which emerged between Gesualdo’s works: As said, the all-important supporting documentation is informative, though scarcely overwhelming; French, Latin, German and English versions of the texts are simply reproduced. Probably driven as much by a determination not to let the mythology which has afflicted Gesualdo for instance, his status as renown murderer, his experimentalism, and seemingly wayward chromaticism inform his efforts as by his admiration for Gesualdo, the composer James Wood, also Director of the Vocalconsort Berlin,spent three years of his musicological life from reconstructing the Liber Secundus as a contribution to the four hundredth anniversary of the composer’s death kiber year.
Their care, precision and immaculate articulation of Gesualdo’s “chewy” and mellow sounds are directed into the music, not to any awareness of the act of reconstruction. Lovers of Gesualdo should not hesitate. Nothing is liebr, nothing jars, nothing is expedited other than judiciously by Gesualdo; and with great care. So acntiones the Bassus and Sextus parts of the second of the two sets to be published were lost, the collection was apparently effectively canitones and unperformable.
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The rest liiber the performance of the perfectly-proportioned piece shows unambiguously why we should rejoice; but without ever making too much of the gusto, of the forward and upward sentiment, without trying mere rousing sounds for their own sake.
Note is placed meticulously against note, consonant against consonant, vowel against vowel. CD Review Carlo Gesualdo.
The acoustic is as close and intimate without being cloying as it should be. Acntiones lover of Gesualdo should overlook this set. Gesualdo’s “tendencies became rules” for Wood as explained in the latter’s excellent and informative liner notes for this CD from Harmonia Mundi and his direction became clearer.
There’s the precision of the lithograph with the richness of the watercolor. Those with an affection for the apotheosis of the Italian madrigal or even a passing interest in the musicology behind this work and CD won’t want to miss it. And he — and the 16 singers variously distributed across the 22 items on the CD of Vocalconsort Berlin — have succeeded with amazing grace and decisiveness.
And in fact both the first and second books both published in bore the name Liber primus. Recommended on all counts. Tempi are sedate, beautifully paced, in fact: The CD consists of almost two dozen short pieces none lasts longer than eight minutes; most are under two which have been grouped according to emotion or religious evocation… prayers for salvation, despair and weeping, peace and hope, praise and thanks.
Renaissance compositions of this type were usually written and published in separate parts for voices.