Luca Marenzio - Il pastor fido

Musicians: 10
Duration: ca. 65'
Instruments: Cembalo, Viola da gamba, Theorbo, Harp


A baroque Marenzio…? In 1707 in a little village in the Swiss Alps a local nobleman bought a 1632 Dutch printed edition of Marenzio’s madrigals - more than thirty years after the composer’s death. This edition also contains an added continuo bass line, setup according to the baroque (and Dutch) practice tradition. Following this unique and precious source, and meditating on the reception of Guarini’s “Pastor fido” as a poetic masterpiece, we could easily picture Marenzio and Guarini fitting in to the era of the baroque cantata and of the XVII-century theatre in which the pastoral world that they had investigated as primary explorers had become part of the common and preferred imaginary. For this program we chose madrigals on Guarini’s verses: performing and recording them with accompanied by a variety of rich and sonorous continuo instruments. In concert performances - thanks to simple movements and gestures - our “accompanied” Marenzio presents exciting new colours, enriched by the bitter-sweet melancholy found in the work of XVII-century composers who looked back at the traditions of the Renaissance as wonderful but lost period of musical splendour.

The CD recording has been published by the swiss label Claves, with the support of RISM Switzerland.