L'Estro d'Orfeo

Altri canti d'amor

Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917276022
Catnr: CC 72760
Release date: 08 September 2017
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1 CD
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Challenge Classics
Catalogue number
CC 72760
Release date
08 September 2017

"A highly successful and very musical debut album of the young ensemble L'Estro Orfeo, which specializes in chamber music of the Baroque."

Klassik.com, 19-11-2018

About the album

Leonor de Lera:

This debut CD of L’Estro d’Orfeo ensemble takes its title Altri Canti d’Amor from a madrigal found in Claudio Monteverdi’s Eighth Book of Madrigals. The program focuses on the music of the Italian Seicento and more precisely on the schools of northern Italy; mainly the Venetian school. It combines both instrumental and vocal pieces- the latter in instrumental versions- connected to the subject of ‘love’. Using instruments instead of the voice may initially seem perverse for such a title, but to me, it suggests the idea of “other ways of singing about love”;

We thus reaffirm the great value and importance that instruments started gaining in the first half of the 17th century, where they ceased serving merely as accompaniments to the voice and gradually became the main protagonist of the musical scene, attaining a level of virtuosity that had never been explored before.

Stemmige Noord-Italiaanse muziek uit de 17e eeuw
Altri canti d'amor is het debuutalbum van het L'Estro d'Orfeo ensemble, onder leiding van violiste Leonor de Lera. De muziek op het album stamt uit de Noord-Italiaanse school van de 17e eeuw. Vooral uit de Venetiaanse school, maar ook uit Lombardije en Modena. Het zijn zowel instrumentale als vocale stukken - de laatste in instrumentale arrangementen - alle rondom het thema 'liefde'. Het ensemble L'Estro d'Orfeo speelt hier stemmige muziek, heel geschikt voor een contemplatief moment.

Eeuwenlang werden instrumenten alleen ingezet als begeleiding voor de stem. Maar in de eerste helft van de 17e eeuw ontstond er een zoektocht naar een soort 'zingen' met instrumenten, waarbij de zangpartij gespeeld werd door een instrument en de schoonheid van deze instrumenten benadrukt werd. Zo kregen instrumenten steeds meer een eigen plek binnen de muziekpraktijk en werd er een virtuoos niveau bereikt als nooit tevoren.

De titel van het album, Altri canti d'amor verwijst naar een madrigaal (herderszang) dat gevonden werd in het achtste Madrigalen boek van Claudio Monteverdi. Leonor de Lera: "Het gebruik van instrumentarium in plaats van de menselijke stem, lijkt in eerste instantie misschien pervers bij zo'n titel, maar voor mij is het slechts een andere manier van zingen over liefde. In feite volgen wij de authentieke muzikale traditie. Voor het stemmen hebben we de A=466Hz toonhoogte gebruikt, die in die tijd in Noord-Italië in zwang was. Een halve toon hoger dan bij de moderne toonhoogte. Zo konden we een zeer helder geluid met veel natuurlijke boventonen realiseren."

Leonor de Lera:

Diese Debüt-CD von L’Estro d’Orfeo erhielt ihren Titel Altri Canti d’Amor von einem Madrigal aus Claudio Monteverdis Achtem Madrigalbuch. Das Programm konzentriert sich auf Musik des italienischen Seicento, genauer auf die Schulen Norditaliens, und hauptsächlich auf die venezianische. Es vereint sowohl Instrumental- als auch Vokalmusik – letztere in Instrumentalfassungen – rund um das Thema Liebe. Instrumente anstelle von Stimmen zu verwenden mag bei diesem Titel zunächst verkehrt erscheinen, doch für mich liegt dabei die Idee von einer anderen Art und Weise nahe, über die Liebe zu singen.

So bekräftigen wir den hohen Wert und die große Bedeutung, die Instrumente in der ersten Hälfte des 17. Jahrhunderts gewannen, als sie nicht länger als bloße Begleitung der Stimme dienten, sondern sich allmählich zur Hauptfigur der musikalischen Szene entwickelten und so virtuos eingesetzt wurden wie nie zuvor.


Founded by Leonor de Lera, L’Estro d’Orfeo is an ensemble that specialises in instrumental music of the 17th century, making use of period instruments and with a historically informed approach, in line with the aesthetics of the time.

It takes its name and inspiration from the greek legend of Orpheus. Son of the god Apollo, god of the music and the arts; and Calliope, the muse of poetry and eloquence; Orpheus inherited from them the gift of music and poetry. As Apollo was considered the best musician amongst the gods, so Orpheus was considered the best musician amongst the mortals.

By dint of his music and singing, he could charm all living things and even the mountainous rocks. He had the ability to appease and coax the wild beasts; the birds, moved by the sound of his music, would fall under a spell and stop flying; the trees would unearth their roots to move closer and crowd around him and the rivers would arrest their course to listen to his singing. There was neither a god nor mortal that could withstand his strains.

Taking Orpheus as its inspiration and following the ideals of the baroque period, the ensemble L’Estro d’Orfeo endeavours to invite its audiences to take a journey through the wide variety of emotions that music can present.


A highly successful and very musical debut album of the young ensemble L'Estro Orfeo, which specializes in chamber music of the Baroque.
Klassik.com, 19-11-2018

Altri canti d’amor was recorded in the Church of St. John the Baptist de Secadura in Cantabria, Spain. Bright and immediate, the sound carries just a hint of the lively acoustic of the space without losing clarity or definition.
Early Music America, 30-4-2018

With so much exquisite playing and rare and magical music my only other gripe, and it is a significant one I feel, is that the disc weighs in at well less than the usually obligatory hour. The programme is however beautifully planned and recorded in detail and with atmosphere in a beautiful medieval church in northern Spain.
Music Web International, 31-1-2018

This is the ensemble’s debut recording. More, please!
Classic a la carte, 30-1-2018

This is the ensemble’s debut recording. More, please!

The program unites instrumental and vocal compositions around the theme 'love'. But the human voice has been replaced by an instrument.
Luister, 01-12-2017

This is a CD with two pleasant surprises. One is a track from undervalued Renaissance composer, Barbara Strozzi. The other is a contemporary set of divisions on a Renaissance theme composed by the present-day artistic director of the CD, Leonor de Lera.
The Whole Note, 28-11-2017

I can't stop praising the young generation of ancient music Spanish musicians [...] They got talent, imagination and, most of all, they got the will to make great things. A confirmation comes from Madrid violinist Leonor de Lera. De Lera's collaborators are her usual partners, a mix of Spaniards (the excellent tiorbist Josep Maria Martì and the no less excellent harpsichordist Javier Nunez) and latin-americans (the outstanding cornet player from Guatemala Josué Meléndez, the expert gambist from Costa Rica Rodney Prada and the Argentinian violinist Lucìa Giraudo). The outcome of this work overtakes any expectation, since L'Estro d'Orfeo places the crossbar very high. Wonderful de Lera in her double role of violin soloist and conductor, although to count on such travelling companions makes things easier.
Disco Exceptional de Scherzo, 27-11-2017

4**** "...instrumental and vocal works transcribed for instruments make up the first CD of the excellent ensemble L'Estro d'Orfeo..."
Classica , 09-11-2017

The performances are recorded in a small baroque church in Cantabria, where the amorous sounds of L'Estro d'Orfeo are being carried on wings by the golden reverberation.
Klassieke Zaken, 29-9-2017

Taking profit from an incredibly good sound recording, the performances of L’Estro d’Orfeo draw the listener right in the center of the music-making. That’s a gripping experience, all the more valuable since the program comprises some unknown pearls. Unfortunately, with only 50 minutes, the CD is rather short.
Pizzicato, 23-9-2017

The compositions on ‘Altri Canti d’Amore’ are sweet and graceful and are truly excellent performed by the L’Estro d’Orfeo sextet.
Music Frames, 19-9-2017

A very nice and elegant CD. Can not be missed!
Stretto, 06-9-2017

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