Sigismondo D’India: Lamenti & Sospiri

Mariana Flores, Julie Roset, Cappella Mediterranea, Leonardo Garcia Alarcón
91:08 (2 CDs)
Ricercar RIC 429

Sigismondo D’India is a composer who has been somewhat overshadowed by his fellow Italian and near-contemporary Claudio Monteverdi. Both were strong advocates of the seconda prattica which prized the expression of passion above any formal considerations, and this two-CD collection of arias, laments and duets underlines the importance of D’India in this vital stage in the development of music. The two sopranos Mariana Flores and Julie Roset split the solos between them and combine for the duets – both have lovely pure and expressive voices, perfect for this repertoire, and they blend beautifully when singing together. The vocal ornamentation is not overdone and executed with deft precision. They are ably and sympathetically supported by a consort of bass viol, harp, theorbo/guitar and archlute led from the harpsichord/organ by Leonardo Garcia Alarcón. The interaction of voices and instruments is a masterclass in empathy, and the resulting performances are consistently persuasive and utterly enjoyable. In addition to their considerable musical merits, these performers manage to inject an element of languid Mediterranean sunshine into their music-making which shines through in these CDs. Too often D’India features as a filler on recordings of the music of other composers such as Monteverdi, but these CDs more than make the case for his own considerable merits as an important composer in his own right. The two extended laments, the Lamentatione d’Olympia and Infelice Didone, are considerable masterpieces worthy of wider acquaintance.

D. James Ross

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