When I’m  not digging my way through a dozen plus Monteverdi Vespers recordings for an upcoming magazine story, I’ve been enjoying some other treasures.

Claude-Bénigne Balbastre
Harpsichord Music
Elizabeth Farr, harpsichord

Giovanni Paolo Colonna
Salmi da Vespro per il giorno di S. Petronio
Cappell Musicale ei S. Petronio
Sergio Vartolo, director

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Psaumes français & Canciones Sacrae
Cappella Amsterdam
Daniel Reuss, director
(Harmonia Mundi)

Antonio Vivaldi
Vivica Genaux, mezzo-soprano
Europe Galante
Fabio Biondi, director
(Virgin Classics)

Robert White
Hymns, Psalms & Lamentations
Gabriel Crouch, director
(Signum Classics)

I’m really excited about the White recording which features a group of men from the superb choir Tenebrae. White is a composer who deserves wider recognition and this CD should do much to put him in everybody’s ears.

And if you want to read one of the most entertaining poems ever written, check out the translation by Anthony Esolen of Torquato Tasso’s Gerusaleme liberata. Christian armies battling for the Holy City in some of the most splendid poetry you will ever encounter. If you care anything for the Italian madrigal tradition, you need to read Tasso.

Torquato Tasso
Jerusalem Delivered
translated by Anthony Esolen
(John Hopkins University Library)

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