Jacques Arcadelt, Madrigaux

Jacques Arcadelt, Madrigaux

About

Although named in every history of music as an important composer and as one of the creators of the Italian madrigal, principally known for the madrigal Il bianco e dolce cigno and even more so by an incorrectly attributed Ave Maria that amateur choirs have been performing since the Romantic period, Jacques Arcadelt has not yet gained the position that he deserves in the musical world of today. He was in the service of the Medici, the papacy and the kings of France; he could hardly have had a more impressive career. The recording sessions for this set created a real emotional shock on several occasions: we were convinced that Jacques Arcadelt was a true genius and it was easy to understand why his contemporaries regarded him as truly exceptional.

Brought up in the French-Flamish tradition but fed with the milk of Renaissance Italian madrigalism since he was about eighteen years old, Jacques Arcadelt (1507-1568) left behind him many gems whose importance has been realized only recently. Let’s acclaim this magnificent album gathering the Chœur de Chambre de Namur, the ensemble Doulce Mémoire and the Cappella Mediterranea, to give us not the complete marigals, songs and motets by Arcadelt, of course, but a large selection of his most stupefying pieces. These are thus madrigals from his First and Fourth Books released during his Italian years around 1540, songs from the various Livres de Chansons (Books of Songs) released between 1550 and 1565 when he was living in Paris, and motets from various eras in his career—mostly Italian, a bit French too since he moved from court to court depending on the jobs, the political assassinations, the change in alliances and, generally, the implausible chaos between the various power players at the time. As a nod, we also hear an Ave Maria “according to Arcadelt”, in truth an imitation by Louis Dietsch, a composer from the 19th Century, and the comical Ave Maria d’Arcadelt … by Liszt, inspired by the Dietsch imitation, for solo organ, an exercise in returning to your ancient roots like people loved to imagine them during the Romantic era. We could even wonder if Saint-Saëns didn’t use the head of the main theme to recycle it into his ”Organ” Symphony, incidentally. © SM/Qobuz

Cappella Mediterranea
Mariana Flores, Soprane
Julie Roset, Soprane
Carlo Vistoli, Contre ténor
Valerio Contaldo, Ténor
Nicholas Scott, Ténor
Matteo Bellotto, Basse
Quito Gato, luth renaissance 10 chœurs et guitare renaissance 
Matthias Spaeter, luth renaissance 7 chœurs et archiluth