Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA67487
Recording details: February 2004
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Jonathan Stokes & Philip Hobbs
Release date: November 2004
Total duration: 11 minutes 41 seconds

'It would be difficult to praise these performances to highly … the clarity and sheer élan here defeat close rival performances by William Christie and Konrad Junghänel' (BBC Music Magazine)

'No Monteverdi enthusiast will want to be without this superb selection … Robert King's light-footed approach to the big pieces, with brisk speeds and crisp, springy rhythms, keeps up both the momentum and the excitement to produce some thrilling climaxes' (The Daily Telegraph)

'We have come to expect nothing but first rate perfomances from Robert King and his colleagues, and this recording does not disappoint. Hyperion's recorded sound is clear but warm, sumptuous, and intense, as befits the music' (American Record Guide)

'The warmly enveloping acoustic is exactly right for this opulent, exciting music; and Robert King’s trusty group disport themselves with the usual trim gusto. With performances like these I’d be happy if this series rolled on forever' (The Times)

'this is another fine issue to add to a series that has now firmly established its credentials as yet one more (brilliently plumed) feather in the respective caps of King and Hyperion' (Fanfare, USA)

Gloria in excelsis Deo a 7 voci
Selva morale e spirituale (1640/1)
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
This is one of the most impressive of all Monteverdi’s sacred works. It has long been thought to have formed part of a ceremonial Mass with music directed by Monteverdi at St Mark’s on 21 November 1631. The Mass marked the official end of the devastating outbreak of plague that swept through northern Italy from summer 1630, killing some 50,000 people in Venice alone. The Mass was followed by a procession across a bridge of boats to the newly founded votive church of Santa Maria della Salute (St Mary of Health) on the opposite side of the Grand Canal. Accounts of the occasion mention the use of ‘trombe squarciate’ – ceremonial trumpets – in both the Gloria and the Credo of the Mass. The trumpets may have played little more than fanfares, and there is no mention of them in the Selva morale version of the Gloria; even the parts for the optional trombones which are mentioned are not supplied and have to be reconstructed by modern performers.

Monteverdi casts the setting in five sections, following various cues in the text. The first section runs from the initial ‘Gloria in excelsis’, with its thrilling virtuoso figurations, through to ‘propter magnam gloriam tuam’, where the word ‘gloriam’ prompts the return of those figurations to round off the section. The second section embraces the three invocations ‘Domine Deus’, ‘Domine Fili’ and ‘Domine Deus’, each set for two sopranos and contrasted with passages of concitato writing for the full ensemble, suggesting God’s power. In sections 3 and 4, Monteverdi sets the three petitions to God and the three statements of his qualities as though they were two strophic songs for two or three voices, with each petition or statement separated from the next by a passage for two violins. The last statement – ‘Tu solus altissimus, Iesu Christe’ – is then taken over by five voices as the beginning of the final section, in which the phrase ‘in gloria Dei Patris’ prompts Monteverdi to return again to the ‘Gloria’ figurations of the opening of the setting.

from notes by John Whenham © 2004

Other albums featuring this work
'Monteverdi: The Sacred Music, Vol. 3' (SACDA67487)
Monteverdi: The Sacred Music, Vol. 3
Buy by post £10.50 This album is not yet available for download SACDA67487  Super-Audio CD — Last few CD copies remaining  
   English   Français   Deutsch