Love Letters from Italy
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Drew Minter & ARTEK/458 Strings

Love Letters from Italy
Italian Virtuoso Love Songs of the 17th Century

Drew Minter, Countertenor

ARTEK/458 Strings
Grant Herreid - lute, theorbo, guitar
Astrid Nielsch - harp
Dongsok Shin - organ
Paul Shipper - guitar, lute
Richard Stone - theorbo, archlute
Lisa Terry - viola da gamba, cello
Gwendolyn Toth, director - harpsichord, virginal, organ

1. Aria di Passacaglia - Girolamo Frescobaldi
2. Toccata - Frescobaldi
3. Odi quel rosignuolo - Sigismondo d'India
4. Io vidi in terra - Marco da Gagliano
5. Toccata per liuto - Frescobaldi
6. Lettera amorosa - Claudio Monteverdi
7. Cantada a voce sola sopra il passacaglio - Giovanni Felice Sances
8. Pianto della Madonna - Monteverdi
9. La Madalena ricorre alle lagrime - Domenico Mazzocchi
10. Ricercar: Grave - Domenico Gabrielli
11. Ricercar: [Allemande]
12. Ricercar: Largo
13. Ricercar: Presto
14. Rimbombava d'intorno - Antonio Cesti


One of the great innovations of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century was the rise of the concept of the "virtuoso" singer and instrumentalist. Before the innovations of monody, the predominance of polyphony ensured that each voice in a composition was functionally equal to all others. Two reform movements were to effect a great change in the musical environment: the Council of Trent, 1542, and the Camerata in Florence between 1573 and 1587. The Council of Trent was a reaction to the textual confusion in sacred music resulting from the polyphonic style of Palestrina then prevalent. The Council issued a proclamation that the words of the liturgy must be clearly intelligible. The Camerata, primarily a literary and philosophical movement, strove to discover the principles of ancient Greek music and came to the conclusion that music should above all express the affect of the text and that this goal is best accomplished in solo vocal writing. Out of this movement came the invention of opera and the style we know as monody, and, ultimately, the birth of a new style in music history, the Baroque style.

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