The Consort of Musicke with Anthony Rooley have created some outstanding recordings over the years. And here on this compilation of two previous releases they are on top form. This double CD edition brings together their fabulous recordings of the Fourth Book of Madrigals 1603 on CD1 and the Fifth Book of Madrigals 1605 on CD2. The Madrigals themselves are fascinatingly beautiful. Monterverdi had dared to do something different and was heavily criticised for doing so. But it is to the benefit to the world of music that he did since these Madrigals have great vitality and originality. Monterverdi influenced many composers and these Madrigals are excellent examples of why. The performance on these recordings is of a high quality. Emma Kirkby, Poppy Holden and Evelyn Tubb offer a wonderful tone in the soprano section. Meanwhile Cathy Cass and Mary Nichols are excellent as altos. This is balanced out very well with the tenors and basses and the expert performance of Anthony Rooley. The recordings were made at Forde Abbey Somerset, St Barnabass's Church London and Henry Wood Hall London between 1981 and 1984. All of the recordings are digital and the balance of sound is perfect. This is an excellent release to get introduced to the works of the great Monterverdi.