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Gesualdo’s plangent, egocentric Quinto libro di madrigali requires a unique blend of self-obsession and self-effacement from individual voices to be truly effective. When performed by the Hilliard Ensemble and friends the latter is a given, with these most accomplished of consort singers fully in command of the shifting chiaroscuro of Gesualdo’s musical textures. although their utter mastery of the texts is beyond question, the recording lacks intimacy and there are risks that they should have taken that might have elevated them to more dangerously appropriate emotional heights.

REBECCA TAVENER Read the full review on Agora Classica

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