《Ohimé dov’é il mio ben》

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)

Nicolò Amati, Vi (1656)、 Nicolò Amati, Vi (1624)、Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Vc (c. 1610)

One of the most distinguished Italian composers in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Claudio Monteverdi was born in Cremona, Italy in 1567, and died in Venice in 1643. A composer whose works encompass both the sacred and secular settings, they display transcendent religious feelings and voice and earthly passion in a highly refined and glorious magnificence. The ultimate expressive form in secular music at the time was the madrigal, and Monteverdi was the composer of hundreds of madrigals, collected in nine books. In the 16th century, the madrigal was so deeply rooted in Italian’s life that it could often be heard at both noble gatherings and scholarly meetings. Historical documents and paintings portray the madrigal to be a polyphonic secular song without a fixed performance style, as it could be performed by a group of friends, one to a part, or accompanied by the lute, harpsichord, or other instruments. Setting the poems of Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374) , Torquato Tasso (1544-1595) , as well as works of others to music, it appears that society was celebrating the immortal spirit of the Renaissance. A form loved throughout Europe, the madrigal’s delicate and beautiful combination of music and literature remained popular well into the 17th century. Published circa 1619, Ohimé dov’é il mio ben was written for two female voices and harpsichord accompaniment, with the madrigal of four sections set to a text by Bernardo Tasso (1493-1569) , poet of the Renaissance period, and finely depicting a woman’s longing for love. Using his typically handsome melody flowing in intertwining lyrical lines with the occasional interruptions by heartrending block chords add variation to the piece without taking away from its elegance, this piece has been considered “one of Monteverdi’s most beautiful works.” With a range similar to that of the human voice and before music, specifically written for the violin pieces, had been composed, the violin often performed arrangements of well-known vocal works. For this recording, two violins crafted by Monteverdi’s Cremonian counterpart, Nicolò Amati (1596-1684) in 1624 and 1656 are used. In using these fine violins, a unique interpretation of this classic early 17th century work has been made. When these fine violins are played, this classic early 17th century work is uniquely interpreted. The warm, fine timbre and ancient quality of these violins are rather suitable in expressing the work’s gentle, yet shy emotions.