Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo - premiered in 1607 at the Ducal Palace in Mantua - is a unique masterpiece in its way of thinking and representing music that never ceases to inspire the greatest.
Emiliano Gonzalez Toro, at the heart of his ensemble I Gemelli, signs his third recording for naïve with this luxuriant reading refocused around the voice, which exalts both the aesthetics inherited from the Renaissance and the modernity of a virtuoso score.
This production, hailed on the stages of Paris and Toulouse at the end of 2019, has the singularity of being conducted ‘by the voice’ by the tenor, who plays the title role while directing singers and instrumentalists. Emiliano Gonzalez Toro displays his care - not only for himself but also for the ten soloists who surround him - with richly ornamented vocal lines that contrast in their dynamics and climates, always keeping the narration and interventions of the characters in tension.
From this fragmentation inherent in Striggio’s poem, which is also a model of proportions and balance for this favola in musica, the performers gathered here draw mobility and creativity, thanks to which recurrence is never repetitive and the pastoral scenes enhance moments of introspection such as “Rosa del cielo” (Act I), the famous “Tu se’ morta” (Act II) or the arrival of Orpheus in the Underworld in Act III (“Scorto da te”).
A continuo that is very inventive in its choice of timbres and accompaniment enriches the vocal and instrumental texture, dominated by the viols and enriched by a 1600 ceterone from the collections of the Musée de la Musique de Paris. The result is a true festive dimension, a powerful divine breath.