EXAUDI Vocal Ensemble

Gesualdo: Cruel Ecstasy

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Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613): Madrigals from Books V and VI (1611)
Gioite voi col canto (Libro V)
Se la mia morte brami (VI)
S’io non miro non moro (V)

Sylvia Lim (*1992): burst flood wound (2021/2)
‘Io parto’, e non più dissi (VI)
Asciugate i begli occhi (V)
O dolorosa gioia (V)

Joanna Ward: new work World Premiere 

Gesualdo: Madrigals from Books V and VI
Itene, o miei sospiri (V)
Moro, lasso, al mio duolo (VI)
Languisce al fin chi da la vita parte (V)

The madrigals of Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, have fascinated listeners for centuries with their outlandish chromatic harmonies and tortured expressions of love and death. Hyper-intense, anguished and ecstatic, they speak to us from the dawn of the Baroque era no other music from the same time: mysterious, strange and deeply human.

EXAUDI has been exploring these enigmatic and challenging works for over a decade; their 2019 album Gesualdo: Madrigali won rave reviews and awards for the ’emotional wisdom and beauty’ of the performances. Tonight’s concert brings together some of the greatest madrigals of his Fifth and Sixth Books with two newly-commissioned works. Sylvia Lim’s burst flood wound and Joanna Ward’s festival commission are both designed to be heard amongst Gesualdo’s works, shedding a contemporary light on these timeless masterpieces.

‘They sing with impeccable definition and accuracy, letting each dissonance burn and scorch until the ear longs for release’ – Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

‘The voices of EXAUDI are superbly attuned to each other, but are also characterful as individuals and highly responsive to the texts’ – Dominy Clements, MusicWeb International


With thanks to Director’s Circle Supporter, Lynn Biggs for the new commission by Joanna Ward, presented as part of this programme.

Download your free programme here

Important information

Duration: 65 Minutes, no interval


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22 May

08:00 pm

£7.50 - £25.00

Image Credit: EXAUDI © Jon Bungard

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