A personalityv has who provoked considerable controversy over the centuries, Carlo Gesualdo (1566- 1613), aristocrat, musician and murderer of his first wife, is no less a composer whose music is marked by subtlety and refinement. His innovative Sixth Book of Madrigals, written two years before his death, exploits all harmonic, chromatic, and textural possibilities to meet the texts’ expressive requirements and proves to be a veritable masterpiece of the genre.

After a first disc devoted to the Italian composer’s sacred works, the Tenebrae Responsoria, Philippe Herreweghe and his Collegium Vocale Gent invite us to (re)discover his secular music for the 450th anniversary of his birth. In masterful fashion, they propose a delicate, expressive reading of this complex music, doing justice to the modernity of the musical language of the Prince of Venosa. The acoustics of the church in the little Tuscan village of Asciano, where the programme was recorded in 2015, provides an ideal sound setting for this music.