Once the preserve of English ensembles like the Consort of Musicke, the serious performance of the Italian madrigal underwent in the late 1990s a second contemporary renaissance in the hands of Italian ensembles such as Concerto Italiano and La Venexiana. Since then, the English have re-entered the field – witness Arcangelo and I Fagiolini’s Monterverdi’s terrific releases. Mention must also be made of Les Arts Florissants’ recent complete Monteverdi madrigals.

The last few years have, however, also seen Italian ensembles return to the fore. One of the best is Delitiae Musicae, whose 15-CD complete Monteverdi madrigals is additionally the only one to feature all-male, all-Italian singers. Which fact alone makes it worth listening to, if just out of curiosity. But these are...

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