CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI (1567-1643)

Sweet Torment


T’amo mia vita

Hor che’l ciel e la terra

Ohime dov’e il mio ben

Ohime il bel viso

Zefiro torna a 5

Zefiro torna a 2

Gia il nemico insidioso

Questi vaghi concenti

Si dolce tormento

Ballo dell’ingrate (Plutone)

I Fagiolini, Barokksolistene

Robert Hollingworth

Chandos Chaconne CHAN0760

June 2009 (recorded Jan 2009)

“Plutone’s magnificent bass singing” ****

        Andrew Pryer BBC Music Magazine August 2009

   Listen to audio extracts here

CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI

L’Orfeo


Orfeo ~ Dietrich Henschel

La Musica/Euridice/Proserpina ~ Maria Grazia Schiavo

La Messaggera/La Speranza ~ Sonia Prina

Plutone ~ Antonio Abete

Caronte ~ Luigi Di Donato

Apollo ~ Agustín Prunell-Friend

Ninfa ~ Hanna Bayodi-Hirt

I Pastore ~ Xavier Sabata

II Pastore/I Spirito infernale ~ Cyril Auvity

III Pastore/II Spirito infernale ~ Juan Sancho

IV Pastore/III Spirito infernale ~ Jonathan Sells


Dir. Pier Luigi Pizzi

Les Arts Florissants

William Christie

Dynamic DVD 33598

June 2009 (recorded May 2008)

“Best of all is Jonathan Sells, whose Plutone manages to be sinister, sarcastic and sepulchral all at the same time and with just the right edge to his voice.  Whereas some others in the business over-egg this particular pudding, Sells retains his dignity and brings exceptional richness and consistency of tone to the role.  I can’t recall another performance that achieves so much with such a light touch, especially Rinuccini’s gentle mocking of the women of Mantua (the real Ingrate - ungrateful women).  In such text-sensitive, emotionally rich performances this is the kind of ‘Sweet Torment’ that you never want to end...”

Simon Heighes International Record Review July/August 2009

“Most successful, to my mind, is the Ballo delle ingrate, one of the most coherent accounts of it I can remember, with a sharply delineated Pluto.”

Fabrice Fitch Gramophone Awards 2009

GILES SWAYNE (b.1946)

Stabat Mater, The Silent Land


Raphael Wallfisch, ‘cello

Sophie Bevan, soprano

Kate Symonds-Joy, mezzo-soprano

Ben Alden, tenor

Jonathan Sells, bass


The Dmitri Ensemble, Graham Ross


NAXOS 8.572595

November 2010 (recorded April 2010)


Gramophone Editor’s Choice

BBC Music Magazine ***** *****

baroque academie : le jardin des voix


Directed by Priscilla Pizzato & Martin Blanchard


Francesca Boncompagni, soprano
Claire Meghnagi, soprano
Laura Hynes Smith, soprano
Sonya Yoncheva, soprano
Amaya Dominguez, mezzo-soprano
Michal Czerniawski, countertenor
Nicholas Watts, tenor
Juan Sancho, tenor
Pascal Charbonneau, tenor
Jonathan Sells, bass

BelAir Classiques DVD BAC056

June 2011 (recorded 2006/7)

VIADANA, A. GABRIELI, G. GABRIELI, BARBARINO, PALESTRINA, MONTEVERDI

Italian Vespers


including ‘Ab aeterno ordinata sum’

by Claudio Monteverdi (Jonathan Sells)


I Fagiolini, Robert Hollingworth



Decca 4783506

June 2012 (recorded January 2012)


“Jonathan Sells deftly encompasses the virtuosity of range and flexibility in Monteverdi’s motet for solo bass”

        Judith Malafronte Opera News October 2012


“the disc’s most memorable moments: Monteverdi: An aeterno ordinata sum. Bass soloist Jonathan Sells handles the plunging infernal leaps with élan”

        David Vickers

    Gramophone Editor’s Choice Disc of the Month   

  September 2012


The Daily Telegraph *****

The Times ****

BBC Music Magazine ****

Gramophone Early Music Award nomination 2013

“Monteverdi sneaks in with a superb bass solo (Jonathan Sells)”

Nicholas Kenyon The Observer 24 June 2012


“Despite the monumental scale of Gabrieli’s Magnificat it is Claudio Monteverdi’s Ab aeterno ordinata sum, a supremely virtuosic solo motet, which inspires most admiration, show-casing the range and flexibility of bass, Jonathan Sells, as it moves from imperious dignity to increasingly florid rhetorical splendour”

                        Claire Seymour Opera Today

                             10 November 2012