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This is a recording of Frescobaldi’s second book of Arie Musicali (1630), following the same group’s recording of the first book (Songs of Irrelevance and Passion, KTC 1448). All 20 songs are recorded (not in order), sung with tremendous artistry and style, each phrase being exploited to maximum expressive potential, and accompanied by just harpsichord and theorbo, as requested by the composer. After each group of four songs the organist improvises a total of five pieces, presumably on the idea of Orpheus’s magical voice, complete with stops being drawn slowly on and off– effective, but very facile.

DAVID PONSFORD Read the full review on Agora Classica

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