This release takes its title from its opening track, an Italian madrigal by Philippe de Monte. Only seven of the album's 25 tracks, however, are in Italian; the majority are in French, with some German songs at the end. The French chanson, the Italian (and English) madrigal, and the German lied were the part-songs of the 16th century, distinct but related and mutually influential. The focus of this album, although you'd never guess it from the graphics, is secular song at the Habsburg court in Vienna and environs, which like the great houses of Italy imported the best Flemish musicians money could buy, and where traditions from around Europe mixed. These composers, from the generation after Josquin and a bit later, aren't often heard, but there are many delightful moments for admirers of Renaissance song. The chansons of Jean Guyot and Jacobus Vaet show the influence of Italian models in terms of an effort to reflect the text closely, but the French style never indulged in the expressive extremes the Italians did. Perhaps the nicest find here are the artless, charming German songs of Jacob Regnart (tracks 18-21), which have rarely if ever been recorded. The Austrian male sextet Cinquecento acquits itself well in this multilingual repertoire (all the texts are translated into English in the packaging) and delivers pleasant, low-key performances that fit the Deutschlandfunk studio sound nicely. A good choice for madrigal and chanson enthusiasts.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim