Fieri’s second album, The Unknown Traveller features 16th-century Italian madrigals which have been ‘Englished’ as well as a new commission from Ben Rowarth.
Musica Transalpina is an anthology of Italian madrigals which were ‘Englished’ by an unknown gentleman in order that this fantastic music could be more accessible to English singers. Published in 1588, it was the first of its kind in England and became immediately extremely popular. The Italian master Ferrabosco is featured most in the collection but we have also selected stunning pieces by Palestrina, Monte and Lassus alongside some lesser known composers. The ‘Englished’ texts allowed for the public to understand the nuances in the music which reflected the text so cleverly and therefore more fully comprehend the Italian madrigal style. It was through this travel of music that Italian literature made its way to England. These concepts of ‘journeying’, and realisation or meaning ‘emerging’ via translation of texts from something unintelligible to something clear and understandable became the basis for a new commission by Ben Rowarth called ‘Short Walk of a Madman’. Recent refugee crises have sparked much debate surrounding the nature of national borders, identity, and the inhumane treatment many immigrants experience both in their country of origin and at their destination. Rowarth’s composition reflects the narrative and human emotions involved in the journey of an individual attempting to escape from a place of hardship only to be disappointed at what they find on arrival at their destination, loneliness.