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Il Festino
“This is why music is an imitation or representation, just like poetry, tragedy or painting, for it does with sounds or the singing voice what the poet does with verse, the actor with gestures and the painter with light, shade and colour.”
Marin Mersenne, Harmonie Universelle, 1636

Delighting the senses and uplifting the mind though poetry, gesture and music… there, in a few words, is a summary of this ensemble’s identity. In its interpretations, Il Festino aims to be faithful to the aesthetic and declamatory rules of the 17th century, applicable not only to singing and recitation but also to instrumental music, which they play on period instruments. Focusing on the secular repertoire, the ensemble aims to bring together poetry and songs of a single period that mirror one another, offering its audience a unique experience. For a fleeting moment, audiences meet men and women of times past who have conveyed their passions, joys and sorrows, and their attachment to those pleasures which remain the same throughout ages – using sophisticated styles but sometimes also borrowing and transforming elements from popular music. Il Festino’s programmes are always built around a theme (wine, love, fragrances and so on), which brings meaning and coherence to the relationship between text, declamation and music. The ensemble’s singers, actors and musicians are acclaimed interpreters of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century repertoire who also work with prestigious ensembles and companies such as Le Poème Harmonique, the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, Les Paladins, Le Parlement de Musique, Ensemble Elyma and Doulce Mémoire.

MF8021 Arie da cantarsi
Stefano Landi
Arie da cantarsi
Dagmar Saskova,soprano
Francisco Javier Mañalich, ténor & viole
Ronald Martin Alonso, viole & lyrone
Philippe Grisvard, clavecin
Manuel de Grange, luth, théorbe, guitare & direction
This recording takes us inside the palaces of early 17th-centrury Rome and presents a fascinating array of compositions that served as background to the lives of the contrmporary aristocracy. As well as pieces by Stefano Landi, there are vocal and instrumental works by Girolamo Frescobaldi and Johann Hieronymus Kapsberger, two musicians who shared with Landi the patronage of the Barberini family.


MF8014 The Italian Air in France at the Time of Louis XIII
The Italian Air in France at the Time of Louis XIII

Dagmar Saskova, soprano
Francisco Javier Mañalich, ténor & viole de gambe
Manuel de Grange, luth, guitare & direction
Ronald Martin Alonso, viole de gambe
Hannelore Devaere, harpe

The collections of airs published in France by Ballard between 1608 and 1643 contain 17 airs on Italian words, of which six are in the polyphonic collections, six are for voice with lute tablature and five for voice with guitar tablature. Taking account of variants and different versions, polyphonic or monodic, of the same pieces, we are left with ten texts – a rather insignificant group amid a repertoire of over 2,000 French airs. The present recording manages to include all these ten texts, thereby presenting almost all the Italian airs published by French composers during Louis XIII’s reign. The musicians of Il Festino have interspersed these airs with a number of instrumental pieces and songs to Spanish texts of the same period. All the Italian airs are by three of the foremost French composers of the time, each of whom moved in court and salon circles.


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