A collection of sixteenth- to eighteenth-century songs in historically appropriate vocal styles, featuring Australian tenor Daniel Thomson, Canadian lutenist/guitarist Terry McKenna, and German harpsichordist Thomas Leininger, under Robert Toft’s musical direction, in a program ranging from an anonymous sixteenth-century villanella to cantatas by Albinoni and Conti.
The performers take a fresh approach to Renaissance and Baroque songs and treat the texts freely to transform inexpressive notation into passionate musical declamation.
Daniel Thomson adopts the persona of a storyteller, and like singers of the past, he uses techniques of rhetorical delivery to re-create the natural style of performance listeners from the era probably experienced. This requires him to alter the written scores substantially, and his dramatic singing combines rhetoric and music in ways that have not been heard since the Renaissance and Baroque eras.
Available as a download (iTunes, CD Baby) and through streaming services (Apple Music, Spotify, etc.).
Sì dolce è’l tormento – “sweet torment courtesy Monteverdi ... beautifully delivered”
BBC Radio 3, In Tune, 30 March 2018 – London, UK
“Robert Toft ... brings together a stellar cast to ... recreate the very intimacy, closeness and wonder of [the] music ... Thomson’s ... muscular, precise voice is pure joy. McKenna ... coaxes his ‘meek instrument’ into a commanding performance. Leininger, a German master of the harpsichord, makes one long for the days before the invention of the pianoforte”
The WholeNote 23/6 (March 2018), p. 72 – Toronto, Canada
“a well thought-out and well-performed recording ... the opening piece, Sì dolce è’l tormento, sets the mood beautifully ... Daniel Thomson ... sings with a light high tenor voice, that he uses expressively and musically. I particularly liked his interpretation of the earlier pieces, with lute accompaniment”
Early Music Reviews, 24 February 2018 – London, UK
“this album is clever in concept ... each [track] exhibits a real sense of character ... expertly portrayed by ... Thomson [and] accompanied flawlessly by ... McKenna ... and ... Leininger ... these musicians are of such high calibre ... What I perhaps enjoy the most about this album is the intimacy that is created by the quality of the recordings ... the whole album makes you feel like you’re in the same room as the musicians, making each listen incredibly special ... I have been overwhelmingly satisfied by [this recording] ... not only is it intelligently performed, but it is also highly enjoyable ... I cannot recommend this album enough”
Classicalexburns, Album Review, 16 March 2018 – Sheffield, UK
Click on the PDF button to download the sheet
music for the songs and cantatas (free)