Late Renaissance Italian composer Adriano Banchieri was a Benedictine monk and the greatest exponent of madrigal comedy, a bawdy, satirical forerunner to comic opera. His work consists of secular madrigals, sacred vocal music, and a small amount of instrumental music; he also led an early orchestra of which Claudio Monteverdi was a member. Banchieri was a key proponent of figured bass realization and left an indispensable treatise on the subject; likewise, he significantly contributed to the use of expression marks in musical notation. Banchieri's madrigal comedies remain tremendously entertaining, partly through their use of animal noises and mixed dialects.
The principal piece in this album is called: "The Feast of Fat Thursday" (as opposed to good Friday). It is a series of small jewels of witty, iconoclastic numbers. Be ready for dogs, cats and cuckoo's in this carnival-type feast. Wonderful humor for those who understand Italian, burlesque fun for all others, all within the typical resources of period Italian music: a small orchestral ensemble and choir. Artistic performance is first class, recording quality among the finest I have come across. Who said Italian musical fun began with Rossini?