EXPRESSIVE MUSICAL GAMES SPAN ARTISTIC EPOCS: A NIGHT IN SIENNA

★★★★ Orazio Vecchi​ was a 16th century cleric, an agile musical wit and an innovator with an ear for the ridiculous, whose cycles of madrigals are chiefly noted by music historians in connection with the imminent emergence of 17th century opera. Yet, as this presentation of his three-part madrigal cycle Le Veglie di Siena​ showed, the connection with opera is somewhat misleading. His music is more about companionable music-making than theatre. "Veglie" is difficult to translate but implies an activity for night owls when others are asleep. In this case it comprises three cycles of madrigals describing musical games, the first a series of musical caricatures in which singers are invited to im