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Concert features Italian Madrigals

New Trinity Baroque will present The Art Of The Italian Madrigal, the second concert in its 2007-08 season, at 8 p.m. in Williams Hall at Oxford College of Emory University on Monday.

The concert will feature madrigals for four to seven voices written by the great Italian masters of the late 16th and early 17th centuries, including Claudio Monteverdi, Giulio Caccini, Luca Marenzio, Sigismodo D'India, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrini Orazio Vecchi and others.

The program will also include works by a forgotten Italian master, Francesco Portinaro, and will mark the modern world premiere of some of his most beautiful madrigals, selected from several volumes of his works.

While most of his madrigals are still unpublished, two volumes appeared several years ago in a musicological edition by Garland Press, edited by Dr. Maria Archetto, a musicologist who is also a professor at Oxford College of Emory University. Archetto initially discovered Portinaro's neglected works while conducting research for her Ph.D. degree at the Eastman School of Music. The idea to present a concert with Portinaro's works came about through the collaboration between Archetto and Predrag Gosta, the founder and the artistic director of New Trinity Baroque.

The Portinaro project is the culmination of a three-year collaboration between NTB and Oxford College, which has already produced one CD with music by Giacomo Carissimi, featuring the Oxford Chorale and NTB, and which has been recently released worldwide on the Edition Lilac label.

"Portinaro's madrigals give us a glimpse into the world of Renaissance Italy, where political power and artistic sensibility were often blended," Archetto said. "These madrigals are not only beautiful music, but they represent the attempt of a provincial nobility, finding itself in political subjugation to the empire of Venice, to flex its aesthetic muscles by expressing in poetic-musical form that which they could not express by force of arms."

Predrag Gosta said he is very excited about the project, which is a result of a conversation two years ago with Archetto.

"I am excited, as well as delighted, to bring to life this forgotten music. After the audience hears it, I am confident that they will fall in love with Portinaro," he said.

For this occasion, Gosta created a new performing edition which will be recorded for a new CD release. The performing edition will become available to a world-wide audience on Early Music Network's music edition, UrtextEditions.com, under whose patronage NTB has worked since its early stages. Most of New Trinity Baroque's performing editions have been created by NTB musicians themselves, and later have been published on UrtextEditions.com. This all has been part of New Trinity Baroque's mission to promote early music and educate audiences in Atlanta as well as beyond the borders of Georgia.

The concert will be presented by an ensemble of 14 singers and instrumentalists, including two sopranos, two countertenors, two tenors, two basses, violins, viola, cello, two viola da gambas, chitarrone, organ and harpsichord. All of the musicians have been hand-picked by Gosta's experienced hand, and will feature artists from all parts of the U.S. as well as England.

Besides the music of Portinaro, the concert will feature selected madrigals by other composers. Among them are Monteverdi's "Lamento della Ninfa," Marenzio's "Dolorosi martir," D'India's "Cruda Amarili," selections from Vecchi's madrigal comedy "L'Amfiparnaso" and much more.

"Our audience will have the opportunity to hear beautiful madrigals which once delighted the ears of the finest families of the Italian Veneto (the region around Venice including the cities of Verona, Vicenza, and Padua) in a concert by some of the finest musicians in Atlanta - New Trinity Baroque," said Maria Archetto. "Of course, the focus of the concert will be the modern world premiere of nine madrigals by Francesco Portinaro, selected from more than 100 of them, which have not been heard in live performance for more than 400 years."

New Trinity Baroque, founded in 1998 in London, has been an active contributor to Atlanta's artistic life since that same year, after Gosta moved to America to pursue graduate studies at Georgia State University. Now an established conductor, keyboardist and early music scholar, Gosta has built a reputation as one of the foremost experts in historically informed performance in the southeastern U.S. With New Trinity Baroque he has offered over 100 diverse programs in the past 10 years, featuring both known and unknown musical masterpieces.

A limited number of tickets for the concert in Oxford are available directly through the college and may be reserved by calling 770-784-8888.