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Monteverdi: Vespro della beata vergine / Ledger
Claudio Monteverdi, Giovanni Gabrieli, Samuel Scheidt
Monteverdi: Vespro della beata vergine / Ledger
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #2


      
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CD Reviews

A voice teacher and early music fan'
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 01/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"MEMORABLE DUO OF TWO GREAT TENORS IN THE 'VESPRO': ROBERT TEAR AND ANTHONY ROLFE JOHNSON. Just hearing them is worth the purchase of this recording. Wonderfuly inpired Monteverdi singing style.

"MUSICKE...BOTH VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL, SO GOOD, SO DELECTABLE, SO RARE, SO ADMIRABLE, SO SUPEREXCELLENT, THAT IT DID EVEN RAVISH AND STUPIFIE...I HEARD THE BEST MUSICKE THAT I DID IN ALL MY LIFE".-quote by
English traveler to St. Mark's Basilica in 1608.

The unique musical tradition that was built up at St.Mark's in Venice around the turn of the 17th century was fostered mainly by Claudio Monteverdi(1567-1643), Giovanni Gabrieli(1553-1612), Samuel Scheidt(1587-1654) and Heinrich Schutz(1585-1672). That is that of the 'cori spezzati',of separate antiphonal choirs(vocal and instrumental), the polychoral textures of which were explored and carried further by the four listed composers.

To previous psalm settings Gabrieli added numerous unaccompanied occasional motets(O Magnum Mysterium and O Domine Jesu Chiste), some colored with secular influences such as the Christmas Music(Hodie Christus and Angelus ad Pastores).

Schutz's setting of Pasalm 150 is taken from the set of Psalms of David published in 1619. Scheidt, like Schutz derived much of his musical material from the German Chorale. His lavish setting of 'In Dulci jubilo' (I loved this one!) was taken from his Cantiones Sacrae of 1620.

Monteverdi's Vespers blazed a new trail. His was the first such publication to intersperse psalms and extra-liturgical motets, and to include a setting of the appropriate Marian hymn. The work is divided into thirteen sections, the "Magnificat" (the last section) is in seven parts. This final section combines musical techniques used throughout the work: cori spezzati, use of plainsong, monodic styles, cantus firmus devises and colourful choral and instrumental contrasts.

These discs contain some really GREAT and well-sung music. There are two recording sessions: Sir David Willcocks conducts a 1973 choir performing the Gabrieli, Scheidt and Schutz. Wonderful sounds from the choirs, instrumentalists; especially the Wilbraham Brass soloists.

Sir Philip Ledger conducts a 1975 choir capably accompanied by the Early Music Consort of London. The soloists are superb; they are: Elly Ameling and Norma Burrowes(sopranos), Charles Brett (alto), Robert Tear ,Anthony Rolfe Johnson (I love this One!) Martyn Hill(tenors) and Peter Knapp, John Noble (basses). The choir has it's usual smooth, clear and well-articulated sound.

It was interesting to me to hear the Monteverdi 'Vespro' sung with boy sopranos and I liked it. My other recording involves Gardiner's 1989 CD and DVD with the Monteverdi Choir which is excellent, so I don't think that I prefer either one; both are well-done and held together by good conductors. For me, it depends upon whether I am in the mood to hear boy sopranos or female sopranos!
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