On this album, featuring Norwegian Baroque ensemble Oslo Circles and mezzo-soprano Marianne Beate Kielland, the listener will hear examples of the lament form by Italian composers such as Frescobaldi, Mealli, Merula, Uccellini, Kapsberger, Monteverdi and others.
The lament is a literary genre that developed – with various names – in Roman languages in the Middle Ages. It typically involves a character complaining in the first person about unrequited love, loss or even their own death. It became very popular in Italy during the Renaissance. Due predominantly to the expansion of the publishing industry and renewed interest in the Greek and Latin classics. For example the laments Ludovico Ariosto borrowed from Ovid, including the weeping Olympia.
The economic crisis of the early seventeenth century and the remorseful climate of the Counter-Reformation inspired authors to write ever-greater numbers of sacred and secular laments, and these were increasingly frequently in verse form, designed to be set to music.
Marianne Beate Kielland, Mezzosoprano
Total time: 01:03:58
This recording has been made possible with support from Fund for Performing Artists, Creo – The Union for Arts & Culture
Thomas Wolden, Tom Caulfield (DXD to DSD Transfers)
|Original Recording Format|
Sofienberg Church in Oslo, Norway on June 18-21, 2020
|Release Date||February 18, 2022|
This album has everything I love about so-called “early music“. The distinctive and slightly crazy sound of gut strings. Long, slim tones without vibrato. Organ positive duse sus. Cascades with flip notes from lute and harpsichord. Millimeter precision in the ornaments.
Despite the extreme seriousness behind such baroque specialist recordings, Oslo Circles is full of life and edge. Suddenly, first violinist Astrid Kirschner pulls on with wide-legged portamenti and neck-breaking runs (was it Yngwie Malmsteen who ran past?). One was also raw and rocked in the baroque.
The program at Lamento is exceptionally well composed, both with good variety and good unity. It is the Lamento – the lament that will move the audience to tears. That is the common denominator for the pieces.
We know perhaps this type of song best from Purcell’s “Dido’s Complaint“, with its gradually decreasing bass line that is repeated and repeated, while the melody floats on top with supernatural beauty. Purcell is not on this record, but Oslo Circles has dug out lamenti from Frescobaldi, Monteverdi and other Italian colleagues from the 17th century. They are at least as tear-jerkingly beautiful as Purcell’s “classic favorite.”
Soprano Marianne Beate Kielland’s confident and earthy voice is, as always, full of subtle little details – with fantastic control and stunning sound. The lyrics are also unbelievably strong.
This is a record to both fall in love with and to cry a little more with.
The Classical Music Blog
Lamento is a quality recording with the mezzo-soprano Marianne Beate Kielland and Oslo Circles. Here it is Italian baroque music of the melancholic kind that is interpreted – and it is done very well!
It has been a few years since the Oslo Circles ensemble released an album with music by Henry Purcell and countertenor David Hansen. Now the ensemble tops this with music by, among others, the composers Frescobaldi, Sances, Mealli, Monteverdi, Rossi, Merula, Kapsberger.
This is an exceptionally good music performance on this album. First, the program is very well put together. It is interesting music that is presented. The music is put into the perfect setting of religious Maria complaints, songs about lost love and beautiful instrumental pieces. We are set back to 17th century Italy and here it is time to just listen and enjoy. Not the least thanks to dedicated and skilled musicians.
Marianne Beate Kielland has gradually become a great international singer. She can boast assignments with, among others, Philippe Herreweghe, Masaaki Suzuki, Andrew Manze, Rinaldo Alessandrini and not least Jordi Savall. She has also made music together with world-renowned orchestras and ensembles. In this way, she has acquired an ability to color the music she performs in a brilliant way. Oslo Circles is an ensemble that after only 7 years (at the time of writing) has established itself as a brilliant baroque ensemble, something this recording clearly shows. Dinko Fabris has written a good and accompanying text in the album booklet.
Everyone connected to this album should bow and enjoy our thanks for a wonderfully great album!
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