Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Scherzi Musicali a 3 voci, Venezia 1607
The «Scherzi Musicali a tre voci di Claudio Monteverde, raccolti da Giulio Cesare Monteverde suo fratello, et nuovamente posti in luce» (“collected by his brother Giulio Cesare Monteverde and revealed again”), were published in 1607 by Ricciardo Amadino in Venice, and dedicated to «Serenissimo S. Don Francesco Gonzaga Prencipe di Mantova, et si Monferrato.» These are 18 compositions selected and edited by Giulio Cesare Monteverdi: 17 «Scherzi», strophic songs written by Claudio, except the last two of Giulio Cesare himself, and a wider concluding ballet, «De la bellezza le dovute lodi». Even with light and schematic compositions such as «Scherzi», the rules of the «Seconda Prattica» do not fail: new polyphonic technique, innovative use of dissonance, original concertation and, above all, great importance to the lyrics, with a strong dramatic power, before harmony and rhythm. A masterpiece of the history of music of that time, in the mark of eternal querrelle between ancient and modern. The EsaEnsemble, a female vocal group directed by Sergio Chierici and accompanied by the instrumental ensemble Baschenis, effectively deals with this important work by the great genius of the Renaissance, in a colorful variety of vocal and instrumental organics supported by a wide use of period instruments.