The Universal Flood

I have recently become very interested in listening to music from the 17th and early 18th centuries, after Monteverdi madrigals got me hooked (see my previous post).  The more I listen to, the more exciting music there seems to be, from the Italian madrigals to Handel’s operas, but I am very much aware that as a musically uneducated listener my exploration of this field is fairly random and serendipitous.  Although there is an awful lot of information out there on this music, I haven’t yet found a comprehensive account which would help me explore in a more organised fashion (apart from massive academic volumes, full of technical examples which are entirely over my head).  So I decided to start compiling my own record of the music I am listening to.

I came across the Sicilian composer Michelangelo Falvetti’s Il Diluvio Universale browsing on YouTube, where there is a glorious live performance by Cappella Mediterranea of this dramatic oratorio (is that the right word?) narrating the story of the biblical Flood (a story highly relevant to the people of Sicily, which  has been much afflicted over the centuries by natural disasters – floods, earthquakes and volcanoes – and political upheavals).  It’s uploaded in 7 short segments – below is a link to number 6, the finale (number 7 is the encores) in which the flood subsides and the rainbow of peace appears to Noah and his family:

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