La Venexiana takes its name from an anonymous Renaissance comedy, one of the cardinal points of reference in Italian theatre both for its use of language, a combination of Italian and dialect, and for its acute rendering of a society and its manners. In styling itself after this glorious tradition, today’s La Venexiana aims to incorporate into its musical interpretations an attention to language in all of its subtlety, and an exultation of contrasts between the refined and the popular, the sacred and the profane. This ensemble has established a new style in Italian early music performance: a warm, truly Mediterranean blend of textual declamation, rhetorical colour and harmonic refinement. Born of the collaboration between soprano Rossana Bertini and counter-tenor Claudio Cavina, its current musical director, La Venexiana makes a careful use of the original sources, keeping the activity of the ensemble always stimulating and full of enjoyable surprises.
La Venexiana’s recording collaboration with Glossa began in 1998 and has seen a much-acclaimed interpretation of Monteverdi’s opera L’Orfeo cap the achievements of the group’s Monteverdi Edition, a series devoted to the madrigals of the Mantuan composer. In addition, the madrigals of Sigismondo d’India, Giaches de Wert, Luzzasco Luzzaschi, Luca Marenzio and Gesualdo da Venosa have all contributed to the ensemble’s performing and recording fame (and it has been the recipient of many awards such as both a Gramophone Award and a Cannes Classical Award).
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Claudio Cavina is one of the most important Italian counter-tenors of his generation: he began his vocal studies in Bologna with Candace Smith, and continued his training with Kurt Widmer and René Jacobs at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. He has performed worldwide with many of the leading early music groups. During his career he has featured in over 70 recordings and has conducted Monteverdi's L’Orfeo in a series of European performances in Jerez de la Frontera, Madrid, Modena, Genova, Melk, Regensburg, London, St. Gallen and Lyon. Monteverdi’s sacred music, including the Vespro della Beata Vergine also forms part of his developing repertoire.
The remarkable journey of Claudio Cavina and La Venexiana through and with the music of Claudio Monteverdi... which, of course, has taken in along its way the madrigals, L’Orfeo, L’incoronazione di Poppea, the Selva morale e spirituale and the ensemble’s own modern and popular ‘twist’ on the Cremonese genius in ’Round M – now comes to rest on Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, the penultimate surviving dramatic work by Monteverdi, which was given its first performance in the Venice Carnival of 1640. Along the way, Claudio Cavina has developed a ‘sixth sense’ for recognizing and interpreting Monteverdi’s style and the result, in this new recording made in Mondovì in Italy, captures perfectly the spirit of the fledgling Venetian operatic world which Monteverdi was helping to encourage.[read more...]
It is not only discerning music lovers around the globe who are giving a warm welcome to the recordings which are being published on Glossa; critical approval in the specialist media has been joining in as well. One example of the latter is the newly-instigated International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) which, for its inaugural 2011 edition, has chosen no less than nine of Glossa’s recent releases in its initial nominations. [read more...]
At Glossa we are very proud to salute the musical talents of our artists, whose splendid recordings ended 2008 receiving further critical approval, important echoes of how other music-lovers have been reacting across the year. Back in September 2008 Claudio Cavina of La Venexiana received its second Gramophone Award in London when their recording of Montervedi's L'Orfeo was voted by the UK magazine's critics as the winner in the Baroque Vocal category. [read more...]
Not for the first time in their illustrious career, Claudio Cavina and his Italian vocal and instrumental ensemble La Venexiana have just received a strong critical vote of approval for their artistry, with the announcement on Thursday September 25th that they have won a coveted Classic fM Gramophone Award. Claudio Cavina was on hand to collect the Baroque Vocal Award for 2008 (decided on by the specialist critics of the UK-based Gramophone magazine) at a ceremony held in London, UK for his and La Venexiana’s recording of the fabula in musica by Claudio Monteverdi, L’Orfeo.[read more...]
“I really do not think that there is one composer who can be rightly compared to this genius.”
In completing their masterful Monteverdi Edition, Claudio Cavina and La Venexiana have returned to the beginning – to the Madrigali a cinque voci… Libro primo – of Monteverdi’s exploration of the madrigalian art form, a journey which was to occupy the composer for more than 50 years of his life across his staying in the cities of Cremona, Mantua and Venice. In this First Book, published in 1587 when the composer was barely 20 years old yet demonstrably showing clear evidence of his approaching maturity, La Venexiana’s performances are again faithful to Monteverdi’s passion for the written word – above all to the weight theme of love. In this final release in the Monteverdi Edition Cavina adds a twist in the tail by including on this new CD the madrigals from the posthumous Libro Nono put together by the composer’s Venetian publisher. With the rerelease of La Venexiana’s recording of Il Terzo Libro (complete with a new essay penned by Stefano Russomanno), eight volumes now comprise Glossa’s Monteverdi Edition, all available within the attractively and imaginatively unified design style which has become the hallmark of the label. [read more...]