Jessica Gould, soprano & Diego Cantalupi, liuto e chitarrone
"An extraordinary voice – very clear diction...rich and inimitable sound" — Monica Huggett
"An extraordinary voice, very clear diction, rich and inimitable sound" – Monica Huggett
"The delicacy of Diego Cantalupi's playing and Jessica’s melancholy singing create alternating waves of shimmer and shadow, to haunting effect. It’s a lovely album." – Billevesées
"Ms. Gould does not adhere to the rigid customs of Baroque period singing. Of course, we have no record of how these works sounded four centuries ago, but contemporary performances often seem sterile, whereas Ms. Gould's performance was luscious and involving." – Voce di Meche
"I Viaggi di Caravaggio, featuring Jessica Gould and Diego Cantalupi, presents the music of the early Italian baroque in relation to the life of the famous and troubled painter Michelangelo Mersi da Caravaggio. If one digs beneath the beautiful music on this CD you learn that Caravaggio’s life was the stuff of soap operas—murder, adultery, prostitutes, and intrigue. But it was his painting style that is reflected in the music selections. His use of tenebrism, sometimes called dramatic illumination involving violent contrasts of light and dark, added drama to an image. It was a more intense use of chiaroscuro. The sense of awe and ingenuity of Caravaggio’s style serves as a backdrop for the music presented here.
The selections on this CD draw upon the composers and styles of the time. The “Cantata spirituale” by Ferrari, composer and theorbo player, is rooted in the baroque operatic style. The opening ground is a peaceful underpinning to the florid vocal lines—intertwining aria and recitative sections to pleasing effect. Both singer and player are equally suited for the task.
The two Laurencini lute solos are performed with understanding, technique, and musicality. Diego Cantalupi is at home here with a firm control of his instrument. The Kapsberger toccatas are more familiar territory for me, and once again Cantalupi does not disappoint. Clear, well-intentioned interpretation brings this music to life. The effective placement between vocal selections lends an evenness and flow to the CD that added to my overall listening experience. Merula’s Canzonetta spirituale describes the crucifixion of Christ in a plaintive vocal and repeating accompaniment in the Moorish style. Like Merula himself, the restless tension builds until it finally ends in peaceful resolution. Jessica Gould’s beautiful interpretation enhances the effectiveness of the work.
The intabulation of Palastrina’s “Vestiva i Colli” recreates the vocal polyphony of the time. Cantalupi produces a contrapuntal effect by emphasizing the various imitative vocal-like entries. His sonorous tone and touch are evident here as well as his meticulous skill in recording and production.
In Stances’ “Sabat Mater” Gould’s soaring vocals evoke the pain and sufferings of Christ on the cross and a mother’s weeping. Beautiful interplay between vocal and theorbo accompaniment highlights the piece. Such peaceful music belies the agony of the text.
“Ave regina calorum,” by Rigatti features a repeating harmonic structure played with power and subtlety while a pure, hopeful vocal floats above as if reaching for the heavens. Cantalupi and Gould have obviously spent a great deal of time perfecting the music. Mazzocchi’s “Lagrime amare” contains a few harmonic twists and turns that emphasize the pleading, forlorn quality of this religious work. “Figlio dormi” by Kapsberger evokes a feeling of serenity and peacefulness. The ensemble and cohesiveness of this duo bring a “truthfulness” to these works.
Both Gould and Cantalupi combine artistry, historical research, and a passion for accurately presenting this breath taking music. Their years of immersion in this style has truly paid dividends. Sit back, remove all distractions, listen, and you will be richly rewarded with this glimpse of music from another time."
Frank DeGroodt, Lute Society of America Quarterly
"gentle and affecting...intense and dramatic...a joyous luminosity" – Lute News, UK
"...arriva la cristallina voce del soprano newyorkese Jessica Gould" – Modenanoi
"Always exciting news when an artist we enjoy live comes out with a recording. "I Viaggi di Caravaggio" on MV Cremona pairs super soprano and scholar Jessica Gould and Diego Cantalupi (one of Italy's foremost lutenists) in a stunning recording of works by 17th c. composers, reflective of Caravaggio's paintings. The gorgeous melodies delight the ear and Ms. Gould's intense dramatic involvement pulls one into another world. Just between us, our favorite is the very mournful "Or che tempo" by Tarquinio Merula. We can't stop listening and think you will have the same reaction. The performances are superb and, dare we say, honor the musical intent."
– Voce di Meche
"This album acts much like an aural wine tasting, suggesting that some of Caravaggio’s paintings pair well, in subject and style, with musical works composed in the same general time and place...Jessica Gould's voice is lovely...Diego Cantalupi plays with command."
– Early Music America
"Diego Cantalupi displays a consistent mastery of the music, and Gould herself has a fine sense of drama." – Early Music Review
"Jessica Gould, un soprano dalla potenza eccezionale...Diego Cantalupi, un virtuoso liutista con grande finezza e competenza esecutiva" – La Notiziah24
"The program notes are perverse." – Early Music Review
"A dramatic intensity that honored the texts." – The New York Times