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Monteverdi: Vespro Della Beate Vergine / John Eliot Gardiner

Release Date: 01/25/2011 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 414572   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  James BowmanRobert TearJohn Shirley-QuirkFelicity Palmer,   ... 
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi ChoirPhilip Jones Brass EnsembleMonteverdi Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is an unusually perceptive and intelligent performance, while also sounding like a universal affirmation of faith. It's hard not to be impressed by its sumptuously festive quality.

This performance of the Vespers barely needs any introduction, so familiar has it become during the past ten years. However remote the interpretation may be from anything that Monteverdi himself might have envisaged, few would deny that in general the reading is unusually perceptive and intelligent, and it's hard not to be impressed by its sumptuously festive quality. In his changes of speeds and distribution of material to his singers and players, Gardiner of course goes far beyond the letter of Monteverdi's score; and unlike Parrott's
Read more carefully researched version, his performance sounds more like a universal affirmation of faith than a reconstruction of an actual liturgical act from early seventeenth-century Italy. At times one might wish for greater economy and wit, especially in the solo motets. 'Duo seraphim", for example, is imperious rather than ethereal, and "Audi caelum" becomes almost a theatrical exchange instead of the fantastical dialogue that Monteverdi must surely have intended it to be. But these are all part of Gardiner's personal vision of the work, and it's to his credit that the music stands up so very well to such a treatment.

The list of soloists speaks for itself: it is a superb team, well supported by the Monteverdi Choir and the various instrumental ensembles. However inauthentically, imaginative use has been made of both distance and spatial distribution within the stereo spread, and music seems to come from every corner of the building. Purists no doubt will continue to attack it, but there is no escaping the fact that this is an enduring version of the Vespers, and I'm sure many listeners will welcome it back into the catalogue.

-- Gramophone [2/1986]
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Works on This Recording

Vespro della Beata Vergine by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  James Bowman (Countertenor), Robert Tear (Tenor), John Shirley-Quirk (Baritone),
Felicity Palmer (Soprano), Jill Gomez (Soprano), Philip Langridge (Tenor),
Michael Rippon (Bass)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble,  Monteverdi Orchestra  ... 
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1610; Mantua, Italy 
Date of Recording: 1974 
Language: Latin 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Vespro Della Beata Virgine 1610 November 19, 2014 By Jennifer D. (Morphettville, SA) See All My Reviews "I heard this on ABC FM radio in its wonderful fullness and knew that Arkivmusic would be there to help me to acquire it...thank you Arkivmusic. I am still listening and adore John Eliot Gardiner's work to produce such magnificence." Report Abuse
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