Ecce sacrum paratum a voce sola e B.c.
‘Ecce sacrum paratum’ was published in 1625 in Ghirlanda sacra
, an anthology issued by Leonardo Simonetti, a castrato who was appointed to the choir of St Mark’s in 1613, the year in which Monteverdi arrived in Venice. The freely invented motet text mixes images of the celebration of Mass with those of the Last Supper, conceived as an Ancient Roman feast in which the guests reclined on couches at table. Monteverdi’s setting is a very striking example of rhetorical solo song which mixes declamation with short passages of aria-like writing in triple time, whether denoting urgency, as in ‘mundate corda vestra, festinate’ or passion, as in the setting of ‘Quid, ah quid huic amori tuo possim referre?’.
from notes by John Whenham © 2004