SFUMATO: Musica per voce e liuto del Rinascimento Italiano
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Turmoil and tribulation, disease and death, faith and fraud, passion and pathos describe life in early 16th century Italy. Empires were built and dynasties established by brazen bankers flaunting the Church's increasingly tenuous hold on the ambitious nouveau riche merchant class, with their voracious appetite for art and music. These new patrons of the arts commissioned and financed what we have come to call the Renaissance, the manifestation of a commercial response by artists, poets and musicians to meet an increased demand for the trappings of wealth and success.
Composers represented on this CD - from Tromboncino to Marenzio - were probably not interested in creating Art Songs to be recognized as classics in the 21st century. Musicians flourished based on their skill in setting passionate poetry in the present tense to music that contained a measure of art paired with the pulse of the heart. As with visual art of the period, the superficial meaning might be grasped by the casual observer, but these songs offer a richer, more nuanced experience upon closer examination.
Sfumato, Mignarda's eighth CD, is a profound and passionate interpretation of the music for solo voice and lute from 16th century Italy, and is the distillation of our delving into the art, literature and music of a people, place and period.
Edward Dean at Musica Antiqua Quarterly Early Music Magazine says: