Listen here! Benedetto Ferrari, mascalzone

Posted on August 7, 2010

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Careful there, when you fall for a woman. He’s been there, done that, got the night shirt all in pieces.

The game of choose your version. Amanti, io vi so dire, by Benedetto Ferrari (also possibly the author of the  closing duet Pur ti miro in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea).

Roberta Invernizzi‘s rendition, recorded in church-like acoustics, is lavish. She takes the time by changing tempi and since music is almost the same level as the voice, the performance sounds like there’s a small orchestra beside her.

Then there’s the counter-tenor Philippe Jaroussky. This kind of voice sang  the balletto to its original audiences. The opposite gender is back in its place (a male narrator talking about women), but only pro forma. The voice remains high and ornamentation what we now read as highly feminine.

This version is actually the most mezzo-masculine of the three. Anne Sofie von Otter gives a devilish, visceral narrator who lets his vizzi & rimorsi speak unhindered. It’s a voice that conveys a body language – it’s easy to see how the jokey, nervy fella is moving with every new phrase.

Look here for lyrics.

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