A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 12/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"EXCEPTIONAL COLLECTION OF SIGNIFICANT MONTEVERDI WORKS WITH VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL VARIETY.
Claudio Monteverdi (1596-1687) "Vespri di S. Giovanni Battista" (Vespers to St. John the Baptist). The Vesper is the last but one service of the Divine Office; it is held in the early evening. It consists of a series of 5 psalms and the Magnificat; each of these chants is preceded and followed by an antiphon.
Between the final Psalm and the Magnificat a hymn is sung. As regards the focus of the Vespers which is the Magnificat, it is the most oustanding of the entire Vespers. Though set for Double Choir and instruments, the composer also employs the individual voices in all sorts of combinations. The instruments are really on a par with the voices and they are: Violin, Viola,cornetts,trombones violoncello,double-bass,organ,cembalo,bassoon and chittarrones.
The Netherlands Chamber Choir on this disc inludes ten singers,all of whom are excellent, as are the instrumentalists. They are Mieke van der Sluis and Evelyn Tubb (sopranos); Guillemette Laurens (mezzo soprano); Michael Chance and David James (countertenors); Michiel de Lange and John Elwes (tenors); Jelle Draijer (baritone) and Harry Van Der Kamp(bass).
Monteverdi's music is really glorious with its frequent rhythmic changes and lovely melodies that come "peeking" thru the harmonies. Gustav Leonhardt does an outstanding job of putting it all together. if you are a Monteverdi fan, you don't want to miss this one!"