La Venexiana in heartfelt voice

Heartfelt singing adds interest to a recording where the sound sometimes distracts from Monteverdi’s sacred compositions

Composer: Monteverdi
Repertoire: Selva morale e spirituale
Artists: La Venexiana/Claudio Cavina
Rating: 3.5/5
Genre: Chamber
Label: Glossa GCD 920914

We’ve come to expect dramatic flair and jaw-dropping virtuosity from Claudio Cavina’s La Venexiana, qualities that prevail in their live recording of Monteverdi’s late, great collection of sacred compositions. The reverberant acoustics of the church of San Miguel in Cuenca and the recording’s cluttered sound, however, often work against the cause of the music and its textural clarity. It’s a pity, as Cavina’s conception of these pieces is clearly driven by a concern for words, their most affective expression and an overall quest for musical variety. La Venexiana’s heartfelt, distinctly unbuttoned singing still makes this album an attractive proposition.