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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67428
Recording details: February 2003
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: October 2003
Total duration: 9 minutes 48 seconds

'This is life-enhancing stuff, breathtakingly exciting at times, exquisitely beautiful at others. If King and his forces maintain the standard they set here, this series is surely set to be the definitive representation of Monteverdi on disc' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The King's Consort shows complete affinity with both the dramatic and the lyrical aspects of Monteverdi's style. No ensemble could be better suited to this magnificent undertaking' (The Daily Telegraph)

'…one of the glories of the new disc is the gloriously full-toned and marvelously projected singing of his two sopranos, Carolyn Sampson and Rebecca Outram … A further distinct plus is Hyperion's superb engineering, which presents the performances with glowing, yet sharply defined immediacy' (Fanfare, USA)

'…a highly successful opening instalment' (Goldberg)

'This music is already familiar from other recordings of Venetian vespers, yet these are magisterial performances, the Christmas setting giving them an appropriately festive focus' (Early Music)

Dixit Dominus I a 8 voci concertato 1640
Selva morale e spirituale (1640/1)
author of text
Psalm 109 (110)

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
à 8 voci concertato con due Violini et quattro viole o Tromboni, quali se portasse l’accidente anco si ponno lasciare

‘Dixit Dominus’ is the psalm appointed to begin almost every celebration of Vespers, whether for Sundays, for commemorations of events in the life of Christ or for the feast days of male or female saints, and all Monteverdi’s Venetian settings are suitably imposing pieces for eight voices.

In this setting Monteverdi adopts the procedure of having the solo and choral exchanges customarily used for eight-part psalms at St Mark’s, though he uses a fluid series of contrasts between passages for one, two or more singers and the full ensemble, allowing the music to flow on from verse to verse without halt if the sense demands, and using repetition and contrast to build larger structures. The setting begins with a single vocal line intoning the first line of the psalm, as though chanting it to the psalm tone that would have been used for a celebration of Vespers in plainsong. In fact, though, the setting is not based entirely on plainsong; the solo intonation is used simply to distinguish between the narrative with which the verse begins and the direct speech with which it continues. Psalm tone 8 does appear briefly, in the music for verse 3, first in Tenor 2, elaborated with new material including fanfare-like battle figures for ‘in the midst of Thine enemies’ (in medio inimicorum tuorum); the chant is then taken over by Soprano 1 for the repeat of the words ‘Virgam virtutis tuae’ and then passed to Tenor 1 and organ for ‘emittet Dominus ex Sion’, where it acts as the accompaniment to duets in the upper voices. Monteverdi treats verses 4 and 5, 6 and 7 as linked pairs for the purpose of musical setting. Verses 6 and 7 are particularly memorable, with the duet ‘a dextris tuis’ which begins verse 6 reused at the beginning and in the middle of verse 7 as a reminder that it is the Lord who sits at the right hand of God who will wreak death and destruction on the day of judgment.

from notes by John Whenham © 2003

Other albums featuring this work
'Monteverdi: The Sacred Music, Vol. 1' (SACDA67428)
Monteverdi: The Sacred Music, Vol. 1
This album is not yet available for download SACDA67428  Super-Audio CD — Deleted  
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