To sense the emotional charge coursing through Carlo Gesualdo at the time when he was composing his Sixth Book of Madrigals, there is no better starting point than a thrilling new recording being issued on Glossa from La Compagnia del Madrigale. Some of the finest singers in the madrigal repertoire today – including Giuseppe Maletto, Daniele Carnovich and Rossana Bertini, and they have been refining their a cappella artistry over more than twenty years with groups such as La Venexiana and Concerto Italiano – now restore humanness, warmth, pictorial beauty and richness to one of the most complex cycles in all music. This marks the group’s triumphant entry onto a label which has always made the exploration of the Italian madrigal repertory one of its cornerstones.
I Califfi performs a Progresssive rock sung in Italian and situated in the same category as the early Seventies bands, due to its use of wild and jerky rhythms on which blend excellent analog keyboard shapes & sounds with excellent vocals and scrumptious guitar work. Their music can be defined as close to that of Garybaldi or Flea but with nicer lyrical themes in the style of PFM. "Fiore di Metallo" is a good prog album, based on organ and moog sounds, even if the lyrics are a bit naive and too close to the typical Italian beat themes. Some interesting keyboard passages, as in the instrumental Varius or the opening track Nel mio passato, make this album well worth listening.
This is an exciting performance. Gabriele Lavia’s steampunk production is stylish and plays up the violence and tension that underpin the opera. Nicola Luisotti’s conducting does likewise, as he is sharp and authoritative but also allows the music to breath naturally. The cast is excellent.(Opera Now)