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I Fagiolini

I Fagiolini

Mixed Choral 22 Ensemble England.

I FagioliniI was founded in 1986 while the singers were students at Oxford University. In 1988 the group won the UK Early Music Network's Young Artists' Competition and has since released twelve CDs and a DVD. It gives about 50 concerts a year from the BBC Proms and major European festivals to further afield such as the Far East and both ends of Africa. Its unusual name has been misspelt, mispronounced and (fortunately) misunderstood throughout the world. I Fagiolini's core repertoire is Renaissance and contemporary solo-voice ensemble repertoire. In recent years it has pioneered innovative staged presentations with a project called The Theatre of Music, which bring classics of Renaissance secular music to life.

As well as its regular work within the major European festivals, I Fagiolini has toured worldwide, often as ambassadors for the British Council. Countries visited include Hong Kong, China, Israel, USA, Morocco, Egypt and South Africa oon several occasions since 1995, working with the SDASA Chorale of Soweto on a partly improvised album, Simunye, released by Warner's crossover label Detour. This experience had a great effect on the singers in both groups and Simunye has since been toured to Europe, Bermuda and back to South Africa.

Other collaborations include solo-voice performances of Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers with His Majesty's Sagbutts and Cornetts and The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, CDs of Byrd with viol consorts Fretwork and Concordia, Purcell with Florilegium, Schubert operas with the London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Handel and Purcell with the Brook Street Band and, most recently, 'Ancient & Modern' with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Oscar-winning composer Anne Dudley.

I Fagiolini records with Chandos, focussing on Italian and English Renaissance repertoire, its most recent projects revolving around Renaissance Venice (see Recordings). It is a regular contributor to BBC programmes and made its Proms debut in August 2000. It also has a rising education profile taking in all ages, from adult masterclasses at the Dartington International Summer School to workshops funded by the National Foundation of Youth Music. I Fagiolini's performances of pre-classical music are historically informed but at the same time aim to bring the spirit of the music to life for today's audience. For example, Spanish ensaladas may or may not have been performed as mini-theatre pieces in the 16th century but they work very well that way and give us a much clearer feel for the spirit behind them than singing them from behind a music stand.

I Fagiolini's concerts are presented by director, Robert Hollingworth, who also writes and presents programmes for BBC Radio 3 (CD Review, Music Restored, Spirit of the Age). Robert's style is informative and has become a feature of I Fagiolini's work. He enjoys tackling foreign languages, including Hebrew, Zulu, Swedish and Arabic but draws the line at impenetrable Danish.

Discography

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I Fagiolini : Monteverdi - Fire & Ashes

Review: Monteverdi's madrigals are a theatre of the senses: touches, glances, scents, the textures of fabrics, of lips and skin, the shining gold of hair, the deep blue of eyes, the sounds and vistas of nature, the coolness of water, the sun's warmth, the ecstatic agony of fire and ice. The second volume in I Fagiolini's Monteverdi conspectus allows us to trace this evolution from the early Mantuan a cappella madrigals that made his reputation to the late concerted madrigals of the 1630s written for the Viennese court - styles seemingly worlds apart, yet both forged by the same desire, to confront and master afresh in each new work the ever-present tension between mere art and real life.

Songlist: Sinfonia from "Ballo Delle Ingrate", Ardo, Avvampo, Rimanti in Pace, Ogni Amante E guerrier, Si Ch'io Vorrei Morire, Che Dar Piu Vi Poss'io, E Cosi, A Poco A Poco, Vorrei Baciarti, O Filli, Chiome D'oro, Batto, Qui Pianse Ergasto, Entrata from "Ballo Delle Ingrate", Lagrime D'amante al Sepolcro Dell'amata, Tirsi e Clori

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8913c | 00 1 CD | $18.95 Madrigals CDs


I Fagiolini : Monteverdi - Flaming Heart : 00  1 CD : Claudio Monteverdi : 0730

I Fagiolini : Monteverdi - Flaming Heart

Review: Monteverdi: Flaming Heart' offers works from Book IV to VIII, a selection that demonstrates both the extraordinary compass of his art and the unprecedented depth and subtlety of response to a text. In recent years we have settled for a certain lack of danger in our search for an 'ideal' Monteverdi. I Fagiolini's 'The Full Monteverdi', revealed a new side to this music a Monteverdi of both beauty and horror, colourful, vivid, sometimes chaste, sometimes dirty, and always completely alive.

Songlist: Prologo: La Musica, Luci Serene E Chiare, Anima Mia, Perdona, Tempro La Cetra, Ahi, Come A Un Vago Sol Cotese Giro, Con Che Soavita, Sinfonia, Ch'io T'ami, Partenza Amorosa, Parlo Miser'o Taccio, Volgendo Il Ciel, Longe Da Te, Cor Mio, Piagn'e Sospira

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8914c | 00 1 CD | $18.95 Madrigals CDs


I Fagiolini : The Full Monteverdi : DVD : Robert Hollingworth : Claudio Monteverdi : 2.110224

I Fagiolini : The Full Monteverdi

Review: One of the most moving collections of Renaissance vocal music brought to life as a contemporary drama specifically for the screen. Claudio Monteverdi's Fourth book of Madrigals (1603) explores differing emotional states of abandoned lovers through the most dramatic and amazingly modern music for vocal ensemble. The Full Monteverdi follows the simultaneous break-up of six couples, from shocking revelation, vengeful anger and erotic longing for reconciliation, as an ensemble film. Vulnerable and disarming, it draws viewers into its emotional journey and intensely moving portrait of contemporary love. Seated in a restaurant, the six couples begin to quarrel over dinner. Onlookers are drawn to the interactions of their fellow diners, yet also wary of their invasive gaze, as the relationships fragment before their eyes. The couples fight over moments in the past, then reflect on better times and unrealised dreams. Ultimately, the six (singing) lovers are left to contemplate life alone. The film takes place over an evening and following morning, with several scenes shot as flashback, giving viewers the back-story to the lovers' downfall. The film is sung throughout.

Songlist: Ah! Dolente Partita, Cor mio, Mentre vi Miro, Cor mio, non mori? E mori!, Sfogava con le stelle, Volgea L' Anima Mia Soabement, Anima Mia Perdona , Luci serene e chiare , La piaga c'ho nel core, Voi Pur Da Me Partite , A Un Giro Sol, Ohime, se tanto amate, lo mi son giovinetta, Quell' Augellin, che canta, Non Piu Guerra, Pietate, Si Ch'io vorrei morire, Anima Dolorosa che vivendo, Anima del cor mio, Longe da te, cor mio, Piagn'e sospira

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8587d | DVD | $21.95 | A Cappella


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