The tunes and musicians combine with such variety – either en soli or en tutti, with clear accents or fugal interlacing. They turn the musical journey into a beautiful moment in time, always extremely attentive to detail despite being diverse and varied…
With this new album entitled Affetti amorosi, Damien Guillon offers a flourishing bouquet of vocals by Girolamo Frescobaldi, gleaned from both his Arie musicali books. These arias date back to 1615-1630 when Frescobaldi was established in Rome and had become a renowned composer, and allow for great freedom in their interpretation.
In expressing both human and divine love and thus voluntarily including a very contrasting appeal to this recording, the countertenor Damien Guillon surrounded himself with other talented vocalists of the Banquet Céleste: the soprano Céline Scheen, the tenor Thomas Hobbs and the bass Benoît Arnould. This new Glossa-signed recording includes two of the most lasting and moving spiritual sonnets by Frescobaldi – Maddalena alla croce and Ohimè che fur – in addition to Vanne, o carta amorosa, the love-filled letter, one of the most loved vocal forms of the early Baroque period.
The piece’s voices are accompanied by the lute, cello and harpsichord, played by recurring members of the Banquet Céleste. In a suggestive text presented in addition to the booklet, Pierre Élie Mamou reminds us of the key features boasted by these tempestuous Baroque musical pieces, that seek to intertwine or flee each other – “these contrary sensations that greatly move our soul”, as Monteverdi would say – unsure whether to embrace or abandon, where time either passes by or stands still.
Céline Scheen, soprano
Damien Guillon, countertenor & director
Thomas Hobbs, tenor
Benoît Arnould, bass
Le Banquet Céleste
André Henrich, lute
Marie-Domitille Murez, harp
Julien Barre, cello
Kevin Manent-Navratil, harpsichord
Frescobaldi’s arias, brilliantly interpreted by the Banquet Céleste, show the composer’s creativity when it came to inventing melodies, as well as the singers’ and instrumentalists’ excellent work.
Beneath the four voices, the Banquet Céleste’s four instrumentalists reveal an elegant trail of sound that fully contributes to how exquisitely delightful this recording is.
Damien Guillon’s Banquet Céleste performs an ingenious version of the “Affetti amorosi”, and its diversity embodies the purest form of Baroque spirit.
the careful consideration for the text is the starting point for all the admirably refined expression (…) every word is filled with the most accurate emotion (…) incredible achievement with deliciously varied atmospheres