Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa was a sixteenth century prince with a sad past. He wrote his music with the guilt he felt in mind. Music that can be considered highly experimental for the time. Its chromatic colours were unheard of then, and were only used again in the nineteenth century. He was almost forgotten in the meantime, but his life and times have been the subject of no less than seven operas since 1992.
And a juicy life it was. He caught his wife and her lover in the act, and killed them both. The language in his music cried out his pain afterward, but the deed was done.
The Deller Consort is one of the earliest ensembles in the historically informed performance movement. Alfred Deller was the ‘godfather of the countertenor’ and made the high register popular. He started his career in 1940, and died in 1979.