from Madrigali a cinque voice, Libro sesto

Composer: Carlo Gesualdo (b. 1560 - d. 1613)
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Composer: Carlo Gesualdo (b. 1560 - d. 1613)

Performance date: 02/07/2018

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1560 - 1613

Duration: 00:10:34

Recording Engineer: Ciaran Cullen, RTÉ

Instrumentation: 2vn, va, vc

Instrumentation Category:String Quartet

Artists: Dudok Quartet Amsterdam Judith van Driel [violin], Marleen Wester [violin], Marie-Louise de Jong [viola], David Faber [cello]) - [quartet]

Gesualdo (1560-1613) is both perpetrator and victim. In his five voice
Madrigals he struggles with a lifetime of insoluble guilt. In 1590,
Gesualdo had murdered his first wife and her lover. He could not overcome his
feelings of remorse, and made his second wife’s life a hell. The text is set to
chromatic music that radically departs from tonal unification, and speaks of
suffering without end: “I die from pain / and the one who can give me life
/ brings me death / and shall not help me.” After the double murder,
Gesualdo had a monastery built. For the chapel he commissioned a painting of
himself. Flanked by Carlo Borromeo, Gesualdo’s maternal uncle and bishop of
Milan, he kneels piously before the iconic Christ figure. His facial expression
in the painting describes the sound of Moro Lasso: a terrifying distillation of
a diagnosis. An artistic penance.