Monteverdi: Il delirio della passione / Anna Lucia Richter
Anna Lucia Richter returns to PENTATONE after her acclaimed Schubert album Heimweh with Il delirio della passione; a recording full of Monteverdi treasures, from heart-wrenching opera scenes (Lamento d’Arianna, ‘Pur ti miro’ from Poppea and the Prologue of L’orfeo) and religious music (Confitebor) to bucolic songs (Si dolce è il tormento). Richter works together with Ensemble Claudiana and Luca Pianca, one of the most eminent Monteverdi interpreters of our age. They offer a fresh perspective on Monteverdi’s music by penetrating deeply into the original sources. Their interpretation of the famous Lamento d’Arianna, salvaged fragment of the lost score of the opera L’Arianna, is exemplary in that regard. Richter’s passionate delivery is inspired by what precedes in the libretto, while Pianca has composed short, “madrigalistic” instrumental interludes between the solo sections, replacing the choral commentaries, of which only the original texts have survived. Altogether, the pieces on Il delirio della passione demonstrate Monteverdi’s exceptional skill to express the most complex emotions, in music of timeless beauty. Anna Lucia Richter belongs to the most exciting young singers of her generation. Il delirio della passione is the second fruit of her exclusive collaboration with PENTATONE, after Heimweh (2018), and her last soprano recording, as she will continue her career as a mezzo-soprano. Luca Pianca and Ensemble Claudiana both make their PENTATONE debut.
Some purists won’t like Luca Pianca’s approach to unwritten ornamentation, which allows the virtuoso members of the Ensemble Claudiana unbridled freedom, and some may cavil at his imaginative and at times almost cavalier attitude to instrumentation. But there is no doubting the freshness of Pianca’s interpretative stance.
Richter’s bright, clean, focused tone, precise diction and keen sense of drama will be familiar from her performances in an impressively wide-ranging portfolio, stretching from Schubert lieder to Mahler’s Wunderhorn songs, and Idomeneo to Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers.
The heart of her achievement on this recording is undoubtedly the lament from Arianna. With its sure-footed command of the patterns and cadences of the Italian language, this is a powerful reading. It is surely the only serious competition in the catalogue to Cathy Berberian’s classic performance with Nikolaus Harnoncourt from the 1970s.
Catalog Number: PTC5186845
Number of Discs: 1
Composer: Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor: Luca Pianca
Orchestra/Ensemble: Claudiana Ensemble
Performer: Alessandro Ravasio, Anna Lucia Richter, Ciro Aroni, Dmitry Sinkovsky, Teo Aroni