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Hyperion Records

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Angel playing a rebec (c1500). A linden-wood sculpture statuette, South German
Reproduced by courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters Collections, New York
Track(s) taken from CDH55345
Recording details: February 1981
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: April 1985
Total duration: 8 minutes 6 seconds

'There are few records of Monteverdi's solo vocal music as persuasive as this … superb' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'Wonderful. Performed with the vigour, intelligence and sense of sheer enjoyment of the music that one would expect from this group of artists' (International Record Review)

'One of the most beautiful records I have heard this year' (The Guardian)

'Music of exhilarating inspiration, superbly performed. A recording as near as may be to the ideal … a very remarkable recording indeed. For audiophile and music-lovers, this is essential' (Hi-Fi News)

'If you don't already own this joyous disc … add it to your collection without delay. It will repay the outlay a hundred times' (Goldberg)

'Emma Kirkby is at her bewitching best' (

Confitebor tibi Domine, SV194
a due voce con due violini; setting V; from Messa a quattro voce e salmi (1650)
author of text
Psalm 110 (111)

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
This is the second of two related settings printed side-by-side in the Messa a quattro voci et salmi. Dr Jerome Roche demonstrated (Music Review, 1971, pages 193–204) that the first, for soprano solo, two violins and continuo, is the original work while the duet version recorded here is a revision which ‘improved it out of all recognition’. After a solemn opening sinfonia the work is constructed like a canzonetta with verses over a walking ground bass separated by a catchy string ritornello. Noteworthy points are the setting of the words ‘initium sapientiae’ (‘the beginning of wisdom’) to a serpentine chromatic line that perhaps illustrates that wisdom can involve deceit, and the exquisite ‘Amen’ which in Jerome Roche’s words ‘seems to disappear into a heavenly haze as the rising scales get slower and canonic imitations thicken.’

from notes by Peter Holman © 1981

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