Monteverdi - The Other Vespers | Decca 4831654

Monteverdi - The Other Vespers


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Label: Decca

Cat No: 4831654

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 28th April 2017



Celebrating Monteverdi’s 450th anniversary, a key new release in this Monteverdi year.

Forming a response to Monteverdi’s timeless masterpiece Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610), these ‘Other’ Vespers are centred around works from the end of his life, in 1640, following 23 years as maestro at St Mark’s Venice, including the celebrated Beatus vir.

A truly Venetian Vespers, arranged in a setting that could have been performed in Venice in Monteverdi’s time, with his sacred choral works alongside music of his contemporaries, culminating in Giovanni Gabrieli’s powerful and moving Magnificat in 14 parts for three separate ‘choirs’.

The release coincides with I Fagiolini’s 30th anniversary: the ensemble has always enjoyed a close association with Monteverdi. Robert Hollingworth is a Monteverdi specialist.

This is an authentic take on the repertoire, including the incredible soundworld of the cornetto muto alongside four male voices of I Fagiolini in the Palestrina/Bovicelli Ave verum corpus - the first recording of such a reconstruction.

The works on this album are treated as an authentic Vespers setting, with antiphons, collects and other short excerpts between each work.


Recorded during chilly November conditions at St George’s Church, Chesterton, there is plenty of warmth and animation in the superb music-making. I Fagiolini’s consort and solo singing are exemplary, and on a few occasions fuller choral moments are bolstered by eight talented students from The 24 (Hollingworth’s recently founded chamber choir at the University of York). ... I Fagiolini were never going to offer anything mundane for the composer’s 450th birthday celebrations, and this ‘other Vespers’ contributes fresh ideas about how to interpret music about which plenty of matters are far from settled, in addition to being a fine advocacy of Monteverdi’s later Venetian-period sacred works.  David Vickers (Recording of the Month)
Gramophone July 2017
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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