Lucy Cox, Hannah Ely soprano
Helen Charlston mezzo-soprano
Paul Bentley, Tom Kelly tenor
Ben McKee bass
Luca Marenzio’s seventh book of madrigals (1595) is notable for drawing its texts from Guarini’s tragicomedy play Il pastor fido (The Faithful Shepherd). The collection is arranged to follow the courtship between two lovers, Amarilli and Martillo, and represents an important step between the 15th-century madrigal and 16th-century opera. It is said that ‘Marenzio broke a path along which Monteverdi could proceed’ and indeed the latter was strongly influenced by Marenzio’s work.
Il Pastor Fido became a popular source of inspiration for madrigal composers in the 1590s. Over the following eighty years, over five-hundred compositions were based on texts from the play. Tonight Fieri present a selection from Marenzio’s seventh book of madrigals followed by examples of settings by other composers influenced by his work. The book doesn’t follow the order of Guarini’s play exactly, and in fact also includes some texts by other writers. The general mood and narrative is used as a guide however.