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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67519
Recording details: February 2004
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Jonathan Stokes
Release date: November 2005
Total duration: 5 minutes 0 seconds

'Robert King never rushes the music but cannily treads the fine line between dizzying excitement and authoritative splendour. Even if you already admire seminal recordings of Monteverdi sacred music by the likes of Andrew Parrott, Konrad Junghänel and Rinaldo Alessandrini, there are plenty of less familiar gems included that make this series essential' (Gramophone)

'This series of recordings is proving to be the definitive account of the neglected side of Monteverdi’s genius, and one that’s unlikely to be surpassed in range and quality for many years' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Robert King's essential exploration of Monteverdi offers yet more evidence of the master's genius. Here the familiar sits with lesser known settings of sacred settings, all works of staggering beauty. King and the soloists capture the essence of this music, with outstanding contributions from Carolyn Sampson, Charles Daniels and James Gilchrist' (The Independent)

'This magnificent series goes from strength to strength, each fresh instalment reaching even more stratospheric standards of excellence than its predecessor' (The Daily Telegraph)

'The opening Laetatus sum is irresistible—typical in its bounce and clarity of every track in the fourth volume of the King's Consort's survey of sacred Monteverdi … Monteverdi collectors shouldn't hesitate' (The Times)

'All played and sung with style' (The Sunday Times)

'I'm inclined to think this superbly engineered disc the most successful issue yet in a splendid series. Fervently recommended' (Goldberg)

'The King's Consort has grown in confidence in this music as the recordings progress; each of these pieces is a joy. The soloists are uniformly excellent, with James Gilchrist comining into his own … These are Rolls-Royce recordings, drawing on the very best of British musicians and recording experience. Even the ripieno choir is peopled with some of the country's most experienced singers' (Early Music)

Salve, o regina, o mater
composer
Seconda raccolta de' sacri canti (1624)
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In this variant on the ‘Salve Regina’ text, an anonymous adapter (possibly Monteverdi himself) combines phrases from the first and last lines of the original text to provide a whole series of invocations — ‘o Regina, o mater, o vita, o spes, o clemens, o pia, o dulcis virgo Maria’ – which are heard at the beginning of the setting and then brought back a further three times to punctuate the text and to lend a sense of urgency to the affective declamatory setting. The work was first published in 1624 in the Second Collection of Sacred Songs (Seconda raccolta de’ sacri canti) of Lorenzo Calvi, at that time still a bass singer at Pavia Cathedral.

from notes by John Whenham © 2005

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