Affetti Amorosi

Affetti Amorosi

G. Frescobaldi, P. Strozzi et J.H. Kapsberger

G. Frescobaldi’s vocal and instrumental works

Céline Scheen, soprano

Damien Guillon, countertenor and director

Thomas Hobbs, tenor

Benoît Arnould, bass

déco étoiles

Le Banquet Céleste

Julien Barre, cello

Kevin Manent-Navratil, harpsichord

André Henrich, lute

Marie-Domitille Murez, harp

Frescobaldi Affetti amorosi/Extracts from the Primo e secondo Libro d’Arie Musicali per Cantarsi nel Gravicembalo, e Tiorba, Florence, 1630.

Girolamo Frescobaldi, a famous 17th-century composer and organ-player, is most renowned for his instrumental pieces. He however left us with two aria books for one or several voices and basso continuo, which are extremely rich from a musical and expressive point of view. At a time when budding Opera pieces were dawning on the musical stage, we could find this new kind of vocal writing in chamber music pieces. Resembling mini-Opera pieces – sometimes closer to popular songs and sometimes more scholarly in the way the recitatives were written – these works make it possible for listeners to hear a wide array of feelings, expressed during a revolutionary musical era. The alternating measured arias (either for solo or polyphonic performance) and pieces in the same style as Italian recitar cantando – such as Cavalli or Monteverdi’s Operas – mean listeners can appreciate a wide array of the styles most popular during the flamboyant 17th century in Italy.

This programme was recorded onto a disk in collaboration with Glossa in spring 2017. Not included on many disks, these arias by Frescobaldi will help the general public appreciate the work put in by the Banquet Céleste’s solo singers and instrumentalists for the 17th-century Italian repertoire, and provide a different vision of the music composed by someone mostly known for his instrumental pieces.


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…

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