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  • Monteverdi - Vespro della Beata Vergine
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Monteverdi - Vespro della Beata Vergine


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Audio CD, September 15, 1998
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Product Details

  • Performer: Sophie Marin-Degor, Maryseult Wieczorek, Artur Stefanowicz, Fabian Schofrin, Paul Agnew, et al.
  • Orchestra: Les Arts Florissants
  • Conductor: William Christie
  • Composer: Claudio Monteverdi, Giovanni Paolo Cima
  • Audio CD (September 15, 1998)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Erato
  • ASIN: B00000AEKH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,984 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Intonatio: Deus in adiutorium - Domine ad adiuvandum - S. Marin-Degor
2. Antiphon: Dum esset rex in accubito suo - Les Sacqueboutiers De Toulouse
3. Nigra sum - P. Agnew
4. Antiphon: Laeva eius sub capite meo - Les Sacqueboutiers De Toulouse
5. Pulchra es, amica mea - S. Marin-Degor
6. Antiphon: Nigra sum sed formosa - Les Sacqueboutiers De Toulouse
7. Sonata a due per violino e violone (G Minor) - Jonathan Rubin
8. Antiphon: Iam hiems transiit, imber abiit - Nisi Dominus (Psalm 126) - Les Sacqueboutiers De Toulouse
9. Audi coelum - Omnes hanc ergo sequamur - S. Marin-Degor
Disc: 2
1. Antiphon: Speciosa facta es - Les Sacqueboutiers De Toulouse
2. Sonata a tre per violino, cornetto e violone (A Minor) - Jean-Pierre Canihac
3. Duo Seraphim - P. Agnew
4. Sonata sopra Sancta Maria ora pro nobis - Les Sacqueboutiers De Toulouse
5. Ave Maris Stella - S. Marin-Degor
6. Antiphon: Sancta Maria succurre miseris - Les Sacqueboutiers De Toulouse
7. Magnificat - Les Sacqueboutiers De Toulouse
8. Et exultavit - P. Agnew
9. Quia respexit - Joseph Cornwell
10. Quia fecit - Artur Stefanowicz
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

William Christie and his ensemble Les Arts Florissants offer serious competition for Philippe Herreweghe's outstanding version of the Monteverdi Vespers on Harmonia Mundi. What you hear (and subconsciously appreciate) is detail, in the sound as well as in the vocal and instrumental lines. Careful phrasing and dynamics complement the rich harmonies and inspired melodic writing, enhancing the work's inherent drama. Because of the Vespers' incredible variety of musical styles--highly unusual for a liturgical work from this period--and due to its exceptional length (90-plus minutes) and the number of skilled performers it requires, many observers believe the work was simply an "audition" piece for its composer and was never intended for performance as a complete work. This well-paced, virtuosic performance makes a good case for the Vespers as a unified, cohesive piece. The soloists rival the best on disc, except for tenor Paul Agnew, whose "Nigra sum" is in an exalted class by itself. --David Vernier

Product Description

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 1999
Format: Audio CD
What a marvelous recording! As always, Christie tries to capture the old masterpiece in its most authentic version. This task is especially difficult with Monteverdi whose music came to us very imcomplete, requiring a significant amount of historical and musicological research before any performance can be attempted. But Christie excels. As always, he is helped by the extraordinary set of musicians and soloists who come to work with him. It is a marvel that so many Les Arts Florissants performers return to work with Christie time and again even though they are almost never paid in advance. It requires a lot of faith in themselves and in their maestro for these performers to invest themselves in Les Arts Florissants while relying only on the expectation of future royalties. No wonder then that their performances are always so inspired and inspiring! Other memorable performances of this kind of music which I would highly recommend include Venetian Vespers (McCreesh) and Cavalli's Vespro della Beata Vergine (Dickey).
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 1998
Format: Audio CD
This is a truly sumptuous version. The soloists really dramatize their parts, and Christie goes for gorgeous sound and magnificent effects. This works especially well with the florid melismas set off against the plain-chant cantus firmus in the Gloria of the Magnificat. It works less well in rounding the edges of the startling rhythmic variations on the words "Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis." The gregorian antiphons are included, which for me is a plus. The recorded sound is excellent, though with a fair amount of reverberation to match the conductor's conception.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By christianw7 on January 18, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
... and very inexpensive, but you would do better with Gardiner's Monteverdi: Vespro Della Beata Vergine or Savall's Claudio Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine. This one is well sung and fine if you don't want to spend much, but it falls short of the greatness possible in this piece.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Giordano Bruno on October 6, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If your heart pants for a monumental choral performance of the Vespers, the kind that would fill a basilica with sound, this interpretation by William Christie is the best you'll find. In addition to the nine soloists, Christie employs three chanters and a chorus of twenty-seven; the surprise, with all those voices, is that he doesn't sacrifice much clarity or tonal definition. Verily, recording technology is showing promise! Christie's regular orchestra, Les Arts Florissants, is fortified for this performance by the three cornetts and three tombones of Les Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse, and by two recorders and a dulcian. I certainly can't fault the addition of the dulcian, even if it's only heard distinctly for a few bars here and there. Every Baroque performance should include a dulcian.

This is the Vespers conceived on a monumental scale that reminds me of the grandly posed paintings of Piero della Francesca or Giovanni Bellini. Check the tempi, for instance, against other performances, especially that of Tragicomedia. Christie takes every movement at least 15% slower. That, of course, may be necessary with such mass vocal forces, but the emotional effect is to emphasize grandeur at the cost of fancifulness. Tragicomedia takes the opposite route, using only the soloists as choir, aiming for sprightliness and clarity instead of power. If I had to choose one performance of the Vespers and discard the other, I'd probably keep the Tragicomedia... until the Magnificat, when Christie's interpretation reaches its climax of awesome magnificence. Fortunately, I can afford to keep both.

Christie inserts two extra instrumental movements into this performance - a sonata for violin and gamba, and a sonata for violin and cornetto with dulcian, both by Giovanni Cima.
Read more ›
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
For those who have had the privilege of singing in a chorus that has performed the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610, this splendid recording by the redoubtable William Christie and Les Arts Florissants will be a nostalgic thrill. Music such as this mighty work are the specialty of Christie and he and his forces manage to recreate the ambience and reverberation sounds of the massive cathedrals where the work was originally performed.

Though a lengthy piece, the variation in sounds between choruses and soloists and antiphonal brass choirs and continuo never ceases to amaze. Here are passages that are quite medieval along with harmonies and rhythms that are forward looking. It is a work with many faces and many paths to ascend the high vaults of Gothic architecture!

Christie has selected excellent soloists: Sophie Marin-Degor, Maryseult Wieczorek, Artur Stefanowicz, Fabian Schofrin, Paul Agnew, B?atrice Martin, and Jonathan Cable are all first rate. Though there are several superb recordings of the Vespers 1610, this recording manages to reach the pinnacle of atmosphere and mysticism better than the others. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, April 06
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