Hyperion Records

Salve, o regina, o mater
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In this variant on the ‘Salve Regina’ text, an anonymous adapter (possibly Monteverdi himself) combines phrases from the first and last lines of the original text to provide a whole series of invocations — ‘o Regina, o mater, o vita, o spes, o clemens, o pia, o dulcis virgo Maria’ – which are heard at the beginning of the setting and then brought back a further three times to punctuate the text and to lend a sense of urgency to the affective declamatory setting. The work was first published in 1624 in the Second Collection of Sacred Songs (Seconda raccolta de’ sacri canti) of Lorenzo Calvi, at that time still a bass singer at Pavia Cathedral.

from notes by John Whenham © 2005

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