The boat from Venice to Padua


Grave e piacevole (serious & light) from early 17th century Venice

Banchieri – Barca di Venezia per Padova (staged)

Monteverdi – Madrigals and duets


Benedictine monk and humorist, Adriano Banchieri, lived near Venice, publishing madrigal comedies, which poke fun at the city.

Barca di Venetia per Padova takes us onto the canals to escape Venice’s stifling summer heat where we meet characters inspired by commedia dell’arte.

We meet noisy gondoliers, a courtesan, moneylender and the traditional drunken German. They sing a few madrigals paying tribute to Gesualdo and Marenzio but Rizzolina is bored and tells of her amorous education. A prayer-meeting is rudely interrupted by a lovesong and we’re already at Padua where it’s time to pay for your tickets and drinks.

Staged for I Fagiolini by Peter Wilson MBE.

Monteverdi arrived in Venice at the same time that Banchieri wrote his madrigal comedies. His first publication was of sensuous duets, and he wrote to his former employers of how he was often in demand in the city’s great houses to perform them. This selection imagines him travelling down the canals with a few singers to perform them as well as five-part madrigals.

‘I Fagiolini while maintaining the highest musical standards, bring to brilliantly characterised life such figures of fun as senile legislators, inebriatcroceed and incomprehensible pedlars and foreigners trying to speak Italian’.  Daily Telegraph

‘Un ensemble qui ait en partage avec Croce la rigueur de l’ethnomusicologue et la gourmandise du caricaturiste.’   Diapason

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