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Santiago A Cappella / Gardiner, Monteverdi Choir

Monteverdi Choir / Gardiner
Release Date: 09/28/2010 
Label:  Soli Deo Gloria Records   Catalog #: 710   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  AnonymousFrancisco GuerreroAlonso Loboof Portugal John IV,   ... 
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Also available: Pilgrimage To Santiago
"This is a treasure, not to be missed." – Fanfare

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Here's one that almost slipped unnoticed among legitimate candidates for 2010 "best of the year" releases. Although recorded in 2004 and previously issued by Universal Spain, this exemplary program seems to have made its first true North American appearance only this past fall (2010), following its best-selling companion, Pilgrimage to Santiago. The 10 selections--representing
Read more composers such as Guerrero, Lobo, and Victoria--are among the more impressive, if not so well-known, examples not only of the high refinement of sacred music of the period, but also of the music's unique emotional disposition.

Guerrero's Duo Seraphim--for 12 voices in three choirs--must have been a big hit at Seville Cathedral, its grand antiphonal effects seeming to resonate in eternal, heavenly harmony. Likewise, Lobo's motet Versa est in luctum (Lobo was Guerrero's successor at Seville) is the embodiment of the full flower of Spanish Renaissance sacred music, its soaring melodic lines and sensual chordal movement reflecting the magnificent, harmonious proportion exemplified in the great cathedrals where such works were performed.

At first I thought Gardiner conducted some of these pieces too slowly--but repeated listening proved me wrong. The truth is, not just any choir can sing these long-phrased, extended works so convincingly, with such confidence and technical skill; but when you have an ensemble like Gardiner's Monteverdi Choir, you can push the boundaries and get away with it, which they do here.

As described in the liner notes, "this is an anthology of Golden Age 'classics'...in turn moving, intimate, spectacular, and awe inspiring"--and that comment gets no argument from me. Here Gardiner goes back to what he and his exceptional choir do best, captured in a very favorable acoustic (a London church) by a first-rate sound engineer (Mike Hatch). This is one of those discs you'll never tire of hearing.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Llibre Vermell de Montserrat: Mariam matrem virginem by Anonymous
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Spain 
2.
Ave Virgo sanctissima by Francisco Guerrero
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
3.
Duo Seraphim by Francisco Guerrero
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 16th Century; Spain 
4.
Lamentationes Ieremiae Prophetae by Alonso Lobo
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Spain 
5.
Versa est in luctum by Alonso Lobo
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: 1598; Spain 
6.
Crux fidelis by of Portugal John IV
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Portugal 
7.
O lux et decus hispaniae by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1583 
8.
Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae: Tenebrae Responsories - O vos omnes by Tomás Luis de Victoria
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1585; Spain 
9.
Non mortui by Cardoso, Manuel, Frei
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1625; Portugal 
10.
Salva nos, Domine by Philippe Rogier
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir

Sound Samples

Mariam matrem virginem
Ave virgo sanctissima
Lamentationes Ieremiae Prophetae
Crux fidelis
O lux et decus Hispaniae
O vos omnes
Duo Seraphim
Versa est in luctum
Non mortui
Salva nos, Domie

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