Tenet: The Secret Lover

Author: 
Alexandra Coghlan
AV2326. TENET: The Secret LoverTENET: The Secret Lover

Tenet: The Secret Lover

  • Kapsberger
  • Le tre grazie a Venere
  • Dispiegata guancie amate
  • Ricercar
  • Amor, non dormir più (Amor dormiglione)
  • Homo fugit velut umbra (Passacaglia della Vita)
  • Toccata XIV
  • Piangono al pianger mio
  • Nube gentil
  • Fan battaglia
  • Amor non si fugge
  • Udite, udite Amanti (L'eraclito Amoroso)
  • Dolce cantavi
  • Toccata
  • Disperate speranza
  • Capona
  • Fortuna sul volto
  • L’Amante segreto

Founded in 1580 by the Duke of Ferrara, the Concerto delle Donne was an institution that revolutionised women’s role in music-making. For the first time an all-female ensemble had a professional position in secular society and an outlet for their virtuoso talents. On ‘The Secret Lover’, American early music ensemble Tenet pay homage to their musical ancestresses in a programme of music by Strozzi, Kapsberger, Caccini and Rossi.

Tenet’s artistic director, soprano Jolle Greenleaf, is joined here by soprano Molly Quinn, mezzo Virginia Warnken and a variety of instrumentalists for a programme that has all the intimacy and seductive charm of the drawing room. These aren’t big voices: the interest is all in the nuance of tone and the subtlety of the vocal rhetoric of the often impassioned texts. Francesca Caccini’s ‘Dispiegate gauncie amate’ prompts a delicious variety of voice-distorting effects, and Strozzi’s ‘L’amante segreto’ – the most extended work on the album – is an episodic drama-in-miniature that’s beautifully varied and handled. But too often you want just a bit more tone colour, a bit more Italianate abandon from these very correct early music performers.

The voices are at their best in three-part writing, whether in the playful exchanges of Luigi Rossi’s pulsing ‘Fan battaglia’, Strozzi’s more lyrical ‘Le tre Grazie a Venere’ or the overt sensuality of the anonymous ‘Passacalli della vita’, in which the three voices glide among one another, occasionally meeting for a deliciously prolonged and suggestive suspension.

The instrumental numbers are wonderful thoughout, from the simplicity of Kapsberger’s self-titled little song or his brief ‘Capona’ to the outlandish chromaticisms of Michelangelo Rossi’s Toccata for harpsichord, performed with dexterity by Jeffrey Grossman. Taken as a whole, ‘The Secret Lover’ is a nicely judged recital programme, offering more than enough textural variety to compensate for the slightly contained performances.

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£67/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe
From£67/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£67/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2019