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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: 6 minutes 0 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' (

Ab aeterno ordinata sum, SV262
motetto a voce sola in basso; from Selva morale e spirituale (1640/1)
author of text
Proverbs 8: 23-31

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
This impressive setting for bass voice and continuo of a poetic description of the creation of the world from the Book of Proverbs is in the heroic style associated with deities in early opera. A comparison with Laudate Dominum, Monteverdi’s only other motet for bass voice, suggests that Ab aeterno is considerably the earlier of the two, and may date from about the same period as his great operatic bass roles, Charon in Orfeo (1607), and Pluto in both Orfeo and Il ballo delle Ingrate.

from notes by Peter Holman © 1981

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