All Things Gesualdo

Well, not really, but some good stuff anyway.

I remember hearing this for the first time. It was in the mid '60's, in one of my first Music History classes at the University of Utah. The recording and performance were awful, part of the Harvard Anthology of Music collection, known as HAM for short. Even so, the music was a revelation. With the second chord the bottom dropped out and you hovered over the abyss.

I looked for recordings and scores. It took years before I could find the music, over ten years before I found a recording when I worked at the U of U Marriott Library in the audio visual department. Now of course everything is available on the internet. Many more recordings on Youtube and most equally unsettling and revelatory.

You can find all the music online at either IMSLP,_Carlo
or on ChoralWiki

There's a very informative book, The Gesualdo Hex, by Glenn Watkins and many others available for online viewing at  
Among other things Watkins talks in depth about Stravinsky's work including material from his discussions with Stravinsky and Robert Craft. Stravinsky was so taken with Gesualdo's music that he orchestrated three of the madrigals including Moro Lasso titled Monumentum Pro Gesualdo. He also visited Gesualdo's castle in Venosa and had the portrait of Gesualdo restored and hung in the chapel.

And there's a full length "documentary" by Werner Herzog on Youtube. It's at least as weird as its subject but great fun. It's called Death for Five Voices and can be viewed here                 

I'd love to hear what you think.