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Messa a 4 da Cappella 1650
Messa a quattro voci e salmi (1650); first published by Alessandro Vincenti in Venice
author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

'Monteverdi: Masses' (CDH55145)
Monteverdi: Masses
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'Monteverdi: The Sacred Music, Vol. 2' (CDA67438)
Monteverdi: The Sacred Music, Vol. 2
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'Monteverdi: The Sacred Music, Vol. 2' (SACDA67438)
Monteverdi: The Sacred Music, Vol. 2
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'From the vaults of Westminster Cathedral' (CDA67707)
From the vaults of Westminster Cathedral
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Movement 1: Kyrie
Movement 2: Gloria
Movement 3: Credo
Movement 4: Sanctus
Movement 4: Sanctus & Benedictus
Movement 5: Benedictus
Movement 6: Agnus Dei

Messa a 4 da Cappella 1650
Of the two large collections of Monteverdi’s Venetian church music, the composer was responsible in some degree for the 1641 Selva morale, much of whose contents dated back at least a decade. After his death, the publisher Alessandro Vincenti collected ‘the sacred relics of the works of the most excellent Monteverdi’, beginning his volume with a ‘Messa a 4 voci da Cappella’. The composer shows himself to be particularly concerned with thematic economy, and much of the music is derived from the descending scale of a fourth and the rising thirds of the opening theme. The power of the descending fourth as a ground had been demonstrated in the Lamento della Ninfa; here it is less regular and often disguised. The vocal lines are more florid than in the 1610 Mass and nearer those of Monteverdi’s concertato music; the texture is varied with duets and trios, time changes and chordal passages with strong rhythms. In 1610 Monteverdi was looking backwards; but later in his life (there is no clue when the 1650 Mass was composed, but it is inconceivable that it antedates the 1610 one), he could write in a more uninhibited way, combining the practices of both old and new styles without incongruity, the fruits of his labours on Gombert’s themes being the contrapuntal freedom of this four-voice Mass.

from notes by Clifford Bartlett © 1985

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA66214 track 5
Recording date
10 May 1986
Recording venue
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Monteverdi: Masses (CDA66214)
    Disc 1 Track 5
    Release date: April 1987
    Deletion date: July 2003
    Superseded by CDH55145
  2. Monteverdi: Masses (CDH55145)
    Disc 1 Track 5
    Release date: July 2003
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
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