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Madrigals by the Renaissance composer Monteverdi provided the inspiration for my own Madrigali. Symbolic images of flames; burning and fire recur often in Italian love poems from this era and my cycle on texts employing this fire motive blends stylistic musical features of the period (word painting; modality; bold harmonic shifts; intricate counterpoint; augenmusik; etc.) within a contemporary compositional idiom. The music emanates from a single; primal sonority (the “Fire-Chord”) which opens the piece and is found extensively throughout all six movements in myriad forms and manipulations; providing motivic unity to complement the poetic. This cycle of madrigals has been designated an American Choral Masterpiece by the National Endowment for the Arts.--Morten Lauridsen
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Amor; Io Sento L'alma (Performance Excerpt)