L'Amfiparnaso is surely the most important piece of Renaissance music theatre still in existence. Through a virtuosic score for vocal ensemble, Vecchi brings alive the commedia dell'arte characters of late sixteenth-century Venice: mean-hearted merchant Pantalone, the verbose bogus doctor Gratiano, the braggart and over amorous Spanish Captain, and a host of down-at-heel servants, the zanni. But alongside this slapstick Vecchi writes bittersweet music for the lovers, akin to the finest poluyphony of Gesualdo and Monteverdi. The balance this provides has made L'Amfiparnaso the classic of its time, and this is the first production of it (or of any work of its kind) for DVD.
Release Date: 23 January 2006