I Fagiolini 1994:

Patrick Ardagh-Walter, Rachel Wheatley, Nicholas Hurndall Smith, Hugh Wilson, Carys Lane, Richard Wyn Roberts, Robert Hollingworth, Robin Blaze, Anna Crookes, Matthew Brook, Roderick Williams


The first three recordings


Metronome Recordings MET CD 1004

Released 1994

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“Lively, imaginative, even anarchic… a group with the potential versatility of a Meredith Monk.” BBC Music Magazine


Monteverdi – Audi coelum (1610 Vespers)

Anon – Hey trolly loly lo

Britten – A death (Sacred & profane)

R.Williams – Is 5 (Sonnet No.2)

W.Brooks – Madrigal No.4 (Nellie was a lady)


In effect, a demonstration CD of the wide range of repertoire covered by the group: Gombert, Da Flecha, Infantas, Monteverdi (Matthew Brook’s powerful account of ‘Audi coelum’ from the 1610 Vespers), Bach, Purcell (early Robin Blaze), Debussy, Tippett, Britten, Roderick Williams and William Brooks’ infamous Madrigal No.4 ‘Nellie was a lady’.

Pastyme with Good Companye

Cantoris / Griffin CRCD 2365

Released 1992

I Fagiolini with The Forbury Consort (early wind)

Buy from Amazon (second-hand)

“For sheer pleasure of listening, this is one recording I go back to time and again.” Robert Hollingworth

Cornyshe – Trolly loly

Anon – Danse de Cleves

Cornyshe – Ah Robyn


A seminal influence on I Fagiolini’s director Robert Hollingworth was the school early music group The Gilbert Consort. Robert writes: “Led by Latin teacher Richard Rhodes with a passion normally reserved only for stamp-collecting and train-spotting, a small circle of us learnt how to strip a crumhorn, to sing risqué Renaissance texts in front of our parents and generally to enjoy the Munrow world. Close colleagues were the Leominster-based ensemble The Forbury Consort, run by Alan Crumpler, a wonderful instrument-maker whose craft has been used by musicians all over the world and who looked like a Hieronymous Bosch creation. His solo rendition of ‘Troly loly’ in the Brixton branch of Tesco between recording sessions will be forgotten by neither me nor the check-out girl.”

Remarkably, the recording was made at Cardinal Wolsey’s palace, Hampton Court, the perfect period atmosphere.

The Art of Monteverdi

“Monteverdi with balls.” The Daily Telegraph (1990)

Factory Records FAC316

Released 1990

(Now deleted but possibly available second-hand)

“I wouldn’t know a good Monteverdi from a Swans B-side but it sounds terrific to me.” Stuart Maconie, writing in NME, 26 January 1991


This was I Fagiolini’s first CD, recorded in 1989, just a year out of university. Many things have changed over time but the commitment and passion are there. This version of the ‘Lamento d’Arianna’ stands up very well as does the ‘Lamento della ninfa’, quite recently used by Stefano LaVia as an audio example in his book Poesia per musica. And the fabulous Bill Smith collage of Douglas Brothers photographs was another enjoyable part of the Factory experience. Apparently, Robert Hollingworth actually had a ride in Tony Wilson’s jag too.

Monteverdi – Vorrei baciarti

Monteverdi – Lamento d’Arianna

Monteverdi – Altri canti d’Amor

“I Fagiolini’s approach to Monteverdi’s madrigals is a powerfully dramatic one… wonderfully effective.” Gramophone (1990)

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