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Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
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: 2 minutes 7 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' (

Deus tuorum militum, SV280
setting II; Himnus unius martyris; from Selva morale e spirituale (1640/1)
author of text
Hymn at Vespers for the Common of One Martyr

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
A Vesper hymn for the feast of a martyr. Monteverdi sets it to a graceful triple-time melody which must come close to Beethoven’s ideal of a melody that combines beauty with simplicity. Three verses are provided in the Selva morale, which correspond to verses 1, 3 and 5 of the hymn. Although there is a possibility that the even-numbered verses would have been sung in alternate fashion to plainsong, it is most likely that the string ritornello would have served as a substitute in a Venetian Vespers of the period. At first sight it appears that the top vocal part is intended for a tenor as it is printed in the tenor clef. But it is placed in the alto partbook, which suggests that it may have been intended to sound an octave higher.

from notes by Peter Holman © 1981

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