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Dangerous Graces


Music by Cipriano de Rore and his pupils

Linn CKD 169, 2002

16 in stock

SKU: DG-CD Category:


1 Questi odorati fiori Giaches de Wert
2 Dolci spoglie Giaches de Wert
3 Vener, ch’un giorno avea Giaches de Wert
4 Hor che ‘l ciel e la terra e ‘l vento tace Cipriano de Rore
5 Dolci sospiri ardenti Luzzasco Luzzaschi
6 Amor se così dolce Cipriano de Rore
7 Bramo veder un dì per mia vendetta Marcantonio Ingegneri
8 Vezzosi augelli Giaches de Wert
9 Forsennata gridava Giaches de Wert
10 Qual musico gentil Giaches de Wert
11 Deh non cantar, Donna gentil, ch’io sento Luzzasco Luzzaschi
12 Se ben il duol Cipriano de Rore
13 Il dolce sonno Giaches de Wert
14 Non è sì denso velo Giaches de Wert
15 O sonno, o della queta humida ombrosa Cipriano de Rore
16 Dolci sospiri ardenti Luzzasco Luzzaschi
17 Gratie ch’a pochi il ciel largo destina Giaches de Wert
18 Tirsi morir volea Giaches de Wert

Winner of a 2002 Diapason Découverte for recordings that illuminate new research on performance practice, Dangerous Graces is the product of a two-year project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board.  Musica Secreta sought to emulate the performances of the concerto delle donne of the Ferrarese court, using the voices and instruments that were part of their nightly concerts.

The performances use techniques developed in the convents of northern Italy for the adaptation of music published for mixed voices (transposition, accompaniment) and applies the ornamentation practices illustrated in Luzzasco Luzzaschi’s Madrigali a uno, doi, e tre soprani of 1601.

The music is drawn from the repertoire composed by the great maestro of the Ferrarese mid-century, Cipriano de Rore, and his most illustrious pupils, Luzzasco Luzzaschi, Giaches de Wert, and Marc’Antonio Ingegneri (who would go on to be Claudio Monteverdi’s teacher). The centrepiece of the recording is Wert’s setting of Armida’s great lament from Torquato Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata, “Qual musico gentil,” the musical forerunner of Monteverdi’s famous Lamento d’Arianna.


Additional information

Weight 0112 kg

Press Reviews

After the sharp religious ecstasy of Cozzolani’s convent motets, Musica Secreta have turned to the madrigals of de Rore, Luzzaschi and de Wert, giving them, as ever, a feminine twist. Through judicious transposition, these erotic madrigals for mixed voices become densely entwined duets, trios and quartets for the female voice, suspended over a soft mattress of plucked and bowed continuo. Dangerous? No. But very seductive, whether in concert Dolci sospiri ardenti or alone Il dolce sonno. Were Botticelli’s Primavera to burst into song, she would probably sound like this.
Independent on Sunday

The most persuasive argument in favour of the techniques used on this new CD is that the music is utterly captivating. The music is by Giaches de Wert, Luzzasco Luzzaschi and Cipriano de Rore. In some of these the lower parts of polyphonic works have simply been transposed up, with instruments providing a basso seguente. In others instruments take the place of the lower voices, so that de Wert’s four-voice madrigal Il dolce sonno becomes an exquisitely beautiful and expressive piece for solo voice and lute, and de Rore’s O sonno, o della queta humida ombrosa turns from another four-part madrigal into a haunting piece for solo voice and bass viol. Between those extremes, de Wert’s five voice madrigal Non è sì denso veloturns into a piece for three female voices, with instruments taking the lower part. Here the replacement of the lower parts with instruments lends a wonderful clarity to the texture and enables the beauty of the individual lines to shine through in a way which sounds remarkably like the early baroque. Maybe this is actually the point: in turning works for mixed voices into works for fewer (female) singers and instruments, these sixteenth century women were also simplifying the textures of the music and giving greater scope for expression in a way that was to become the hallmark of the new “baroque” style. Dangerous Graces is a fascinating CD.
Early Music Review

A refreshing sound in the sometimes sexless world of early music. . . this is a unique collection restoring with seriousness and integrity a forgotten part of female musical history.

A splendidly evocative, and historically vital, disc, beautifully performed.

A most aristocratic entertainment.
HMV Choice

Deeply satisfying.
The Scotsman

Spine-tingling. . . unbearably poignant
New Zealand Herald



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