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Track(s) taken from CDA67438

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

The King's Consort, Robert King (conductor)
Recording details: February 2004
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: April 2004
Total duration: 24 minutes 58 seconds

Other recordings available for download

The Sixteen, Harry Christophers (conductor), Margaret Phillips (organ)


'Monteverdi is one of those composers who really does merit a complete recording of his output. The sacred works have been a little neglected, and this splendid new series, with its informed and intelligent booklet notes, is putting things right' (BBC Music Magazine)

'… there are joys here to melt icebergs … I want Volume 3 immediately' (The Times)

'Sumptuous surround sound and full-blooded performances from Robert King and Co. combine to thrilling effect in the second release in their fabulous Monteverdi cycle' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Where this new disc really comes into its own is in the small-scale motets, where King's outstanding roster of soloists would be exceedingly difficult to better … The rarely performed motets alone should ensure the present disc its place in any Monteverdi collection, while John Whenham's notes prove as valuable an asset as those Michael Talbot provided for King's Vivaldi sacred music traversal' (Fanfare, USA)

'I'll say it straight out: the result is truly exciting! The music is magnificent, and so is the interpretation … The architecture of the programme is particularly remarkable, and the album is built on balance, variety, contrast' (Goldberg)

'The King’s Choir and Consort directed by Robert King made a complete series of the Sacred Music of Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) … this is music that I could listen to all day long. With Carolyn Sampson and Rebecca Outram (sopranos), Rogers Covey-Crump (high tenor), Charles Daniels and James Gilchrist (tenors) and Peter Harvey (bass) you could hardly wish for a more distinguished team of soloists' (MusicWeb International)» More

'This is an absolutely crack team of soloists, all of whom are completely at home in Monteverdi's idiom. The tenors in particular luxuriate in the ornamental roulades …' (Early Music)

'En effet, c'est avec un tact et une finesse sans précédent que King mène son corpus instrumental … La douceur séraphique de Sampson et Outram dans le Venite, Siccientes n'a d'équivalent que la parfaite maîrise de la diction, des sons enflés et de la souplesse de ces voix' (Classica, France)
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

Entre les deux plus grandes collections de musique religieuse vénitienne de Monteverdi, le compositeur est responsable, dans une certaine mesure de celle de 1641, Selva morale, dont le contenu remonte en grande partie à dix ans auparavant. Après la mort du compositeur, l’éditeur Alessandro Vincenti recueille les «reliques sacrées des œuvres de l’admirable Monteverdi», et le volume commence par la «Messa a 4 voci da Cappella». Le compositeur montre lui-même une préoccupation particulière pour l’économie thématique, et une grande partie de la musique est tirée de la gamme descendante sur une quarte et des tierces montantes du thème d’ouverture. La force de la quarte comme base de composition est démontrée dans le Lamento della Ninfa; elle est ici moins régulière et souvent déguisée. Les lignes vocales sont plus fleuries que celles de la messe de 1610 et se rapprochent de celles du style concertato de Monteverdi; la texture varie avec des duos et des trios, la mesure change et les passages en accords reçoivent des rythmes puissants. En 1610, Monteverdi regardait vers le passé; mais plus tard dans sa vie (on ne sait pas exactement quand la messe de 1650 a été composée, mais il est inconcevable qu’elle soit antérieure à celle de 1610), il pourra écrire d’une manière moins restrictive, associant les pratiques des styles ancien et nouveau sans incongruité, les fruits de ses labeurs sur les thèmes de Gombert donnant au contrepoint de sa messe à quatre voix une grande liberté.

extrait des notes rédigées par Clifford Bartlett © 1985
Français: Marie Luccheta

Von Monteverdis zwei großen Sammlungen venezianischer Kirchenmusik war der Komponist bis zu einem gewissen Grad für die Selva morale von 1641 verantwortlich. Ein Großteil ihres Inhalts war allerdings schon mindestens ein Jahrzehnt zuvor komponiert worden. Nach Monteverdis Tod sammelte der Verleger Alessandro Vincenti „die heiligen Werkreliquien des äußerst exzellenten Monteverdis“. Vincentis Monteverdi-Band begann mit einer Messa a 4 voci da Cappella. Der Komponist ließ hier erkennen, wie stark er sich um thematische Einheit bemühte. Vieles wurde in dieser Messe von der absteigenden Skala innerhalb einer Quarte und von den aufsteigenden Terzen des Anfangsthemas abgeleitet. Die Kraft der absteigenden Quarte als Basso ostinato war schon im Lamento della Ninfa bewiesen worden. In der Messa a 4 voci taucht das Quartmotiv allerdings nicht so regelmäßig auf und wenn, ist es häufig versteckt. Die Gesangslinien sind fließender als in der Messe von 1610 und nähern sich Monteverdis Musik im Stile concertato. Der Stimmsatz wird durch Duette und Trios, Metrenwechsel und Akkordpassagen mit starken Rhythmen variiert. 1610 hatte sich Monteverdi rückwärts gewandt, aber später in seinem Leben (es gibt keinen Anhaltspunkt, wann die 1650 veröffentlichte Messe komponiert wurde, aber es ist undenkbar, dass sie vor der Messe von 1610 entstand) fühlte sich Monteverdi offensichtlich beim Komponieren weniger gehemmt, und er kombinierte ohne Reibungen die Praktiken des alten und neuen Stils. Seine Auseinandersetzung mit Gomberts Themen fand in der Freiheit des Kontrapunkts seiner vierstimmigen Messe ihren Niederschlag.

aus dem Begleittext von Clifford Bartlett © 1985
Deutsch: Elke Hockings

Other albums featuring this work

Monteverdi: Masses
Monteverdi: The Sacred Music, Vol. 2
This album is not yet available for downloadSACDA67438Super-Audio CD
From the vaults of Westminster Cathedral
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