2023 Les Arts Florissants Paul Agnew 9599 Oscar Ortega

Concert vocal

Monteverdi / Gesualdo

Cycle Gesualdo


Monteverdi / Gesualdo
Cycle Gesualdo


Les Arts Florissants

Musical Direction and tenor



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

Claudio Monteverdi, Carlo Gesualdo: two composers born less than a year apart, whose paths would take musical creation in two radically different directions.

Long before Orfeo (1607), Monteverdi was moving inexorably towards opera. His madrigals, which he began composing in the 1580s, were a laboratory for increasingly advanced dramatic experimentation. Their form and content evolved after L'Orfeo: instrumental accompaniment became compulsory, while the traditional five-voice texture dissolved.

Gesualdo, by contrast, retained the five-voice a cappella format to the end of his life. Instead of evolving towards an increasingly solo style, he pushed the limits of harmony and dissonance to a level of expression never heard before.

This program invites us to follow these two radical and singular artistic explorations, which, in the last throes of the great 16th-century tradition, sounded the death knell of the five-voice madrigal and guided musical composition towards new horizons.


Following the success of their concert cycles devoted to the works of Monteverdi and Gesualdo, Paul Agnew and his team of singers continue their exploration of this fascinating repertoire.

Previous dates

Season 2023-24

Matera / Italy

  • Friday, October 13 2023, 8pm

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