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Monteverdi: Vespri Solenni per La Festa di San Marco Concerto Italiano/ Alessandrini NAIVE, CD & DVD 32/40

July 18, 2014

Andrew Clements

When Monteverdi moved from Mantua to Venice in 1613 to become maestro di cappella at St Mark's, he set about raising musical standards in the choir. The Selva Morale e Spirituale, published in 1640, with the Missa e Psalmi published after his death, anthologised the liturgical settings he made for St Mark's. And it's music from those collections, as well as the 1610 Vespers, together with instrumental sonatas by his Venetian contemporaries replacing the repeats of the sung antiphons, that have been used in this recreation by Rinaldo Alessandrini of a grand vespers service as it might have been performed in St Mark's under Monteverdi's direction. The recording was made in Mantua, in the basilica of Santa Barbara, and allows Alessandrini and his ensembles of singers and instrumentalists to achieve many of the spatial effects and changes of perspective that were such a feature of music in Venice. It's a treat, intelligently conceived and immaculately executed.

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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