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Monteverdi: Selva Morale E Spirituale, Vol. 3

Monteverdi / Christophers / Sixteen
Release Date: 04/09/2013 
Label:  Coro   Catalog #: 16109   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Grace DavidsonElin Manahan ThomasStuart YoungMark Dobell,   ... 
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MONTEVERDI Laudate Dominum II. Iste confessor II. Magnificat II. Credidi propter quod. Pianto della Madonna. Beatus vir II. È questa vita. Confitebor tibi II. Memento Domine. Laudate pueri II. Salve Regina III. Magnificat Read more I Harry Christophers, cond; The Sixteen CORO 16109 (76:11 Text and Translation)


This concludes Harry Christophers’s traversal, following his two previous discs ( Fanfare 34:4, 36:1), of Claudio Monteverdi’s retrospective volume of sacred music that the composer collected for publication in 1641 as Selva morale e spirituale . The three discs omit one of the five moral (devotional) songs ( Spuntava il di ), the Et resurrexit from the Messa Concertata , and three of the seven hymns (those that duplicate the meters of four others). One of the highlights of this disc is Grace Davidson’s exquisite rendition of Pianto della Madonna , the contrafactum of Il Lamento dell’ Arianna . The lovely piece is not lacking for fine recordings, including Johanna Koslowsky in Junghänel’s set, Adriana Fernandez in Cavina’s set, and the late lamented Montserrat Figueras (15:6, recently reisssued on Alia Vox) in a more diffuse Monteverdi program. While, as noted below, Christophers generally uses one voice to a part, the prima prattica motets, Credidi propter quod and Memento Domine , are suitably endowed with a choral sound from all the members of the ensemble.


Of the five more or less complete sets of this collection that we have heard in the last 14 years (25:3, 34:4, 34:5), only Gabriel Garrido (34:4) included all seven hymns among the total of 40 printed pieces. But for our purposes, all five sets are complete enough to be judged by the quality of their performances, and in this view Christophers ranks with Konrad Junghänel and Gabriel Garrido in using one voice to a part, but surpasses both of them in other respects. Junghänel uses a larger body of instruments and Garrido not only has an even larger number of players but the occasional addition of ripieno choir and a children’s choir. Contrasting with the other four sets, Christophers has a totally random group of pieces on each single disc, making them independent purchases, while the other four are boxed sets grouping the selections, as nearly as possible, into two sets of Vespers and a Mass, though the contents of the book do not fall into place as neatly as that.


That brings up the alternatives—many discs, as far back as Denis Stevens, have grouped the correct number of pieces for Vespers (five psalms, hymn, canticle, final antiphon) to show how Monteverdi actually used the music rather than how he published it. They all fit the layout of Vespers better than the boxed sets do, but it is worth noting that most of them choose to include selections from the 1651 posthumous collection of sacred music along with Selva morale pieces. One of the more recent such discs is led by Kim Glies Nandfred (23:6), a review that refers back to nine similar discs. Among other useful treatments of this music, one might add Andrew Parrott’s grouping of the seven-voice Credo movements and Gloria with Giovanni Rovetta’s presumed completion of the Credo for similar forces (13:4). The four-voice Mass has been coupled with one or the other of the composer’s Masses, though not lately. Previous reviews have praised the salient features of all these choices, leaving the serious collector to decide how the disc format, singing style, and use of instruments in this music influences his purchases.


After all of this, we have The Sixteen’s lovely renditions of virtually all of this music in a marvelously stylish approach. The sound is clear and forward without the church ambiance that others strive for. The players are mostly limited to pairs of violins and cellos with a continuo group. There is enough variety in the five complete sets and nearly a dozen sets of Vespers drawn from these works to satisfy most tastes, but for a straightforward traversal of the collection unadorned by various liturgical additions, the three discs that Christophers has provided will give endless pleasure.


FANFARE: J. F. Weber
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Works on This Recording

1.
Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes (II), motet for 8 voices & 2 violins (from Selva morale e spirituale), by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1640 
Date of Recording: 05/2011/11/2011 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, Londo 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
2.
Iste confessor Domini sacratus (II), motet for 2 sopranos & 2 violins (from Selva morale e spiritual by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Grace Davidson (), Elin Manahan Thomas ()
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1640 
Date of Recording: 05/2011/11/2011 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, Londo 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
3.
Vespro della Beata Vergine: Magnificat a 6 by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1610; Mantua, Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2011/11/2011 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, Londo 
Length: 9 Minutes 8 Secs. 
4.
Credidi propter quod locutus sum, motet for 8 voices (from Selva morale e spirituale), SV 275 by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Grace Davidson ()
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1640 
Date of Recording: 05/2011/11/2011 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, Londo 
Length: 5 Minutes 30 Secs. 
5.
Selva morale e spirituale: Pianto della Madonna by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Grace Davidson ()
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1641 
Date of Recording: 05/2011/11/2011 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, Londo 
Length: 10 Minutes 7 Secs. 
6.
Selva morale e spirituale: Beatus vir a 5 by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1640; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2011/11/2011 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, Londo 
Length: 5 Minutes 15 Secs. 
7.
E questa vita un lampo, motet for 5 voices (from Selva morale et spirituale), SV 254 by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1640 
Date of Recording: 05/2011/11/2011 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, Londo 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
8.
Selva morale e spirituale: Confitebor tibi Domine a 3 by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Stuart Young (), Elin Manahan Thomas (), Mark Dobell ()
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1640; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2011/11/2011 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, Londo 
Length: 5 Minutes 50 Secs. 
9.
Selva morale e spirituale: Memento et omnis mansuetudinis by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Jeremy Budd (), Joseph Cornwell ()
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1640; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2011/11/2011 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, Londo 
Length: 7 Minutes 12 Secs. 
10.
Laudate, pueri, Dominum (II), motet for 5 voices (from Selva morale e spirituale), SV 271 by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Jeremy Budd (), Joseph Cornwell ()
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1640 
Date of Recording: 05/2011/11/2011 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, Londo 
Length: 7 Minutes 17 Secs. 
11.
Selva morale e spirituale: Salve regina a 3 by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Stuart Young (), Mark Dobell ()
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1640; Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2011/11/2011 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, Londo 
Length: 5 Minutes 28 Secs. 
12.
Vespro della Beata Vergine: Magnificat a 7 by Claudio Monteverdi
Conductor:  Harry Christophers
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1610; Mantua, Italy 
Date of Recording: 05/2011/11/2011 
Venue:  St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, Londo 
Length: 12 Minutes 7 Secs. 

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