Madrigals of Passion & Despair by Monteverdi, di Lasso, and Lauridsen

Like his groundbreaking opera l'Orfeo (Orpheus), Monteverdi's l'Arianna (Ariadne) turns again to the subject of classical mythology. Arianna is weeping over her lost love Theseus when Bacchus (Dionysus) happens upon her and instantly falls in love. Rejecting his advances, Arianna sings the famous aria "Lasciatemi morire" (Let me die). This Lamento d'Arianna (Ariadne's Lament) is the only part of Monteverdi's now lost opera to survive, in part because it existed in many versions including a 5-voice madrigal cycle and even a reworking to a religious text as Pianto della Madonna (The Blessed Virgin's Lament). We present the 5-voice version along with the madrigal cycle Standomi un giorno by Orlando di Lasso.

Each of the poems in Madrigali: Six Fire Songs by modern choral superstar Morten Lauridsen deals with some aspect of the "fire" of passion and love, which Lauridsen represents with his "fire chord" (B-flat, D-flat, F, C). Published in 1987, these songs for unaccompanied 8-part chorus draw heavily from the Italian settings of Renaissance and Baroque madrigalists like di Lasso and Monteverdi. 

Friday, May 19 at 8pm at 544 Capp Street, San Francisco

and Sunday, May 21 at 4 pm at 1924 Cedar Street, Berkeley