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Carlo Gesualdo (1566-1613) is one of the most fascinating composers. It is hard to escape the temptation of seeing in his madrigals the tortured reflection of his psyche, beginning with the murder he committed in 1590, when he caught his first wife Maria d'Avalos in blatant adultery with her lover Fabrizio Carafa. The madrigals of the fifth and sixth books are to Gesualdo what the black paintings are to Goya: works conceived in a state of solitude, with no limits on the artist's imagination, born in enclosed spaces and used to moving around in their gloom. Gesualdo's sixth book of madrigals contains some of the most extraordinary harmonic thinking in the history of Western music - it lives on the edge of modality, it's chromatic lines forming chord progressions that still sound fresh and unpredictable to modern ears.