Les Arts Florissants Paul Agnew Gesualdo Livre 3 2019 10 07 DSC02892 Cedric Alet-header

Concert vocal

Gesualdo - Reponsories for Maundy Thursday

Cycle intégral


Gesualdo - Reponsories for Maundy Thursday
Cycle intégral


Les Arts Florissants

Musical Direction and tenor



Miriam ALLAN, soprano
Hannah MORRISON, soprano
Mélodie RUVIO, contralto
Sean CLAYTON, tenor
Edward GRINT, bass

Éditions musicales :
Les Arts Florissants (Pascal Duc)


Carlo GESUALDO - Tribulationem et dolorem

Carlo GESUALDO - In monte Oliveti oravit ad Patrem

Carlo GESUALDO - Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem

Carlo GESUALDO - Ecce vidimus eum non habentem speciem

Carlo GESUALDO - Amicus meus osculi me tradidit signo

Carlo GESUALDO - Judas mercator pessimus osculo petiit Dominum

Carlo GESUALDO - Unus ex discipulis meis tradet me hodie

Carlo GESUALDO - Eram quasi agnus innocens

Carlo GESUALDO - Una hora non potuistis vigilare mecum

Carlo GESUALDO - Seniores populi consilium fecerunt

Carlo GESUALDO - Miserere mei Deus

The Responsoria et alia ad Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae spectantia as the Responsories are officially titled were published in 1611 when Gesualdo was already in poor health (he was to die in 1613) and might be considered the final testament of this strange, violent, vengeful and yet pious figure. They are collections of nine sacred madrigals, a set for each of the last days of Holy Week; Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Saturday. This evening we will sing the settings for Maundy Thursday, the evening of the last supper, and of Christ’s prayers in the garden of Gethsemene before being betrayed by Judas, and sent to be tortured and sentenced at the hands of Pilate. It has been a tradition to perform these works in a choral setting but on examining the writing it is clear that they are much closer to the madrigals that Gesualdo published in the same year (Books 5 and 6) than to anything choral of the period. These works are destined for his own small ensemble of specialist singers with whom he often sang himself and the highly charged texts are set to music of vivid colour and profound beauty. The very name ‘responsory’ implies a response to a previous text and in this evening’s performance we will commence by the plainchant setting to which the polyphonic works of Gesualdo respond. In so doing we hear each of Gesualdo’s works as individual meditations, separate from each other and to be valued as individual works. As was the tradition of the time, nine candles will be extinguished during the performance, one after each madrigal, leaving the listener finally in the darkness that embodies the prevailing atmosphere of Holy Week. 

 Paul Agnew



Previous dates

Season 2019-2020

New York / United States
The Cloisters

  • Sunday, October 20 2019, 3.30pm
  • Sunday, October 20 2019, 1pm

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