Monteverdi: Vespers of 1610

Monteverdi: Vespers of 1610

by Rodolfus Choir

CD

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Overview

Monteverdi: Vespers of 1610

With a great variety of new authentic-performance recordings of this landmark piece of sacred music on the market -- from Gardiner, Herreweghe, Jacobs, Savall, you name it -- and with each vying to produce a richer, more resonant version, it's a bit of a shock to encounter this plain, straight-ahead version. It has a well-drilled English choir, a simple, mostly modern ensemble of strings and winds (there are sackbuts) with organ, no antiphons (and no mass, which leaves a lot of empty space on each disc), everything performed at pitch, and a thoroughgoing atmosphere of churchly restraint, with soloists quietly emerging from the choir periodically with perfect English cathedral-school voices. The disc may in fact be unusually successful just because it sounds so different from almost all the other discs on the market, and because it sounds similar to the ways in which choristers who sang the "Vespers" in the 1970s may have encountered the work. The bottom line is that the performance works well on its own terms even if it may not much resemble what Monteverdi had in mind (and who really knows about that, anyway?). The small Rodolfus Choir, its members all under 25, is at its best in limpid movements like the "Ave Maris Stella" (disc 2, track 3), perhaps too bland in the really big ones, and the balance among the forces is very elegantly done. It may be that the "Vespers of 1610" represent a work that, from the modern perspective, can simply be illuminated from too many different directions to essentially be captured on a single recording.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/29/2008
Label: Signum Uk
UPC: 0635212010921
catalogNumber: 109

Tracks

  1. Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206: Dominus ad adiuvandum
  2. Dixit Dominus, motet for 6 voices and 6 strings (from Vespers), SV 206/2
  3. Nigra sum sed formosa, antiphon for tenor (from Vespers), SV 206/3
  4. Laudate, pueri, Dominum, motet for 8 voices & organ (from Vespers), SV 206/4
  5. Pulchra es, amica mea, motet for 2 sopranos (from Vespers), SV 206/5
  6. Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206: Laetatus sum
  7. Duo Seraphim clamabant, motet for 3 tenors (from Vespers), SV 206/7
  8. Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum, for 10 voices (from Vespers), SV 206/8
  9. Audi, coelum, verba mea, motet for 7 voices (from Vespro della Beata Vergine), SV 206/9
  10. Lauda, Jerusalem, Dominum, motet for 7 voices (from Vespers), SV 206/10
  11. Sonata sopra 'Sancta Maria,' ora pro nobis, for soprano, 3 horns, 2 trombones, 2 violins & cello (from Vespers), SV 206/11
  12. Ave maris stella, for soprano, tenor & chorus (from Vespro della Beata Vergine), SV 206/12
  13. Magnificat II, for 6 voices and organ (from Vespers), SV 206a
  14. Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206: Et exultavit
  15. Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206: Quia respexit
  16. Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206: Quia fecit
  17. Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206: Et misericordia
  18. Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206: Fecit potentiam
  19. Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206: Deposuit
  20. Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206: Esurientes
  21. Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206: Suscepit
  22. Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206: Sicut locutus
  23. Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206: Gloria Patri
  24. Vespro della beata vergine, for chorus & instruments, SV 206: Sicut erat

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