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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: 13 minutes 43 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)

Magnificat I a 8 voci 1640
composer
Selva morale e spirituale (1640/1)
author of text
Luke 1: 46-55

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
à 8 voci et due violini et quattro viole overo quattro Tromboni quali in accidente si ponno lasciare

The Magnificat—the Song of Mary (Luke 1: 46–55)—formed the climax of every Vespers service, and the altar was ceremonially censed while it was sung. This setting for eight voices and instruments is one of Monteverdi’s finest pieces, a work that is clearly rooted in the mid seventeenth century, but one that also looks forward to the early works of Handel.

Monteverdi sets some verses of the text as self-standing entities: ‘Quia respexit’, set largely as though it were one of the languorous triple-time arias found in Venetian song-books of the 1620s and ’30s, is a case in point. But he also groups some verses into larger, more impressive, units. An example is provided by the first two verses, which are bound together by an opening for all the voices and instruments which gives way to a solo tenor intoning the beginning of the plainsong Magnificat tone for the first mode. Similarly, verses 6 to 8 are linked by an eight-part refrain for ‘Fecit potentiam’, using the triadic figures and repeated notes of the ‘warlike’ style that Monteverdi pioneered in his Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda of 1624. Verses 9 and 10, with their combination of sustained dissonances and faster-moving motives form a wonderful climax to the work and, with the final Gloria Patri, to the Vespers service as a whole.

from notes by John Whenham © 2003

Other albums featuring this work
'Monteverdi: The Sacred Music, Vol. 1' (SACDA67428)
Monteverdi: The Sacred Music, Vol. 1
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