Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine (1)

Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine (1)
Composer Claudio Monteverdi
Artist Ensemble San Felice
Federico Bardazzi conductor
La Pifarescha
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 95188
EAN code 5028421951881
Release July 2016

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About this release

An enduring masterpiece of early Baroque sacred music, Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine (known in English as ‘Vespers’) was the most ambitious religious or vocal work to be written before the time of J.S. Bach, calling for a large chorus, soloists and orchestra and employing an innovative array of musical forms. Contrasting the contemplative cantus firmus underpinning the entire work (Dixit Dominus, Laetatus Sum) with moments of dazzling theatricality (Nisi Dominus, Deus in Adiutorium), Monteverdi looks to the future of dramatic music whilst staying true to the work’s Gregorian bloodline.

Under the guidance of director Federico Bardazzi, Ensemble Felice bring their scrupulous scholarship to the many interpretative decisions to be made, as the order of movements and much of the orchestration is left to the performers’ discretion. Grounded in research into the historical context and practices surrounding the work, Bardazzi has chosen to structure it by placing motets between the prescribed sequence of psalms. The quietude of the motets provides a wonderful contrast to these often grandiose choral movements, and the placing of the Sicut erat towards the end makes a fitting climax to the entire work. Ensemble Felice also come with a full compliment of Monteverdi’s intended orchestral forces including a 30-strong choir, full orchestra and specially invited brass ensemble La Pifarescha. Working closely with the non-metric Latin text, the ensemble use changes of character, rhythm and metre to maximise its expressive potential. With performances on period instruments, authentic renditions of Gregorian chants and an attention to detail that even retunes concert pitch to its more historically accurate version, this is a faithful recording of a supreme work.

Dedicated to Pope Paul V, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 is one of the great masterpieces of the early Baroque. The score features an amazing variety of styles – grand choral and instrumental, solo motets, two settings of the Magnificat, duets and trios in the latest monodic style, and above all, a sense of theatre, which might be explained by Monteverdi’s composition of two operas at around the same time, L’Orfeo and L’Arianna.
Monteverdi’s Vespers are performed regularly nowadays, and count among the iconic choral masterworks of the Renaissance/Baroque. This festive new recording by the Ensemble San Felice, conducted by Federico Bardazzi, features authentic instruments (cornettos and trombones!) and a line of excellent Italian vocal soloists.

Contains extensive liner notes on the preparation of the recording written by the director himself.
Contains ensemble biography and full sung text in Latin.
Recorded in Italy in 2011.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206, in principio horarum: I. Deus, in adjutorium meum intende, II. Domine ad adjuvandum
  2. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: III. Antiphona laeva ejus (IV A*)
  3. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: III. Psalmus 109 [110] dixit dominus
  4. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: III. Antiphona laeva ejus (IV A*), i collecta ante luciferum genite
  5. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: IV. Concerto nigra sum
  6. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: V. Antiphona jam hiems transiit (VIII G)
  7. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: V. Psalmus 112 [113] laudate pueri
  8. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: V. Antiphona jam hiems transiit (VIII G) il collecta laudantes benedictum nomen tuum domine
  9. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: VI. Concerto pulchra es
  10. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: VII. Antiphona hortus conclusus est (II)
  11. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: VII. Psalmus 121 [122] laetatus sum
  12. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: VII. Antiphona hortus conclusus est (II) III collecta ambulantibus in atriis domus tuae omnipotens deus
  13. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: VIII. Concerto duo seraphim
  14. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: IX. Antiphona quo abiit dilectus tuus (VI F)
  15. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: IX. Psalmus 126 [127] nisi dominus
  16. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: IX. Antiphona quo abiit dilectus tuus (VI F) IV ccollecta domorum spiritalium aedificator deus
  17. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: X. Concerto audi coelom
  18. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XI. Antiphona favus distillans (III)
  19. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XI. Psalmus 147 lauda Jerusalem
  20. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XI. Antiphona favus distillans (III) V collecta conforta domine portas ecclesiae tuae
  21. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XI. Capitulum ab initio et ante saecula creata sum

Disk 2

  1. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XII. Sonata on Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis
  2. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIII. Hymnus ave maris stella
  3. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIII. Versiculum (tonus solemnis), V. Diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis, R. Propterea benedixi te eus in aeternum
  4. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Antiphona ad magnificat virgo prudentissima (I F)
  5. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Magnificat
  6. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Et exultavit
  7. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Quia respexit
  8. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Quia fecit
  9. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Et Misericordia
  10. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Fecit potentiam
  11. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Deposuit potentes
  12. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Esurientes
  13. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Suscepit Israel
  14. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Sicut locutus
  15. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Gloria Patri
  16. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Sicut erat
  17. Vespro della beata vergine, SV 206: XIV. Antiphona ad magnificat virgo prudentissima (I F)
  18. In fine horarum: Supplicatio litaniae, kyrie eleison, Pater noster Totum Secretum (all, in silence)
  19. Oratio concede nos famulos tuos
  20. Benedicamus domino
  21. Antiphona finalis salve regina