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Carlo Gesualdo (Composer)

Born: 8th March 1566, Venosa, Italy

Died: 8th September 1613, Gesualdo, Campania, Italy

Nationality: Italian

Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa was Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza. As a composer he is known for writing intensely expressive madrigals and pieces of sacred music that use a chromatic language not heard again until the late 19th century. The best known fact of his life is his gruesome killing of his first wife and her aristocratic lover upon finding them in flagrante delicto. The fascination for his extraordinary music and for his shocking acts have gone hand in hand.

Further Reading: Gesualdo

 Recording of the Week, Gesualdo - Sacred and Secular

James Wood directs Vocalconsort berlin in the second book of Sacrae Cantiones, whilst La Compagnia del Madrigale are on flamboyant form in the Sixth Book of Madrigals – dark, disorientating works which could scarcely be more different from their English counterparts.

Popular Works: Gesualdo

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