Monday, August 20, 2012

Monteverdi - Vespers of 1610

Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 is a sprawling sacred work which is nearly equal in length with Handel's Messiah, which is quite remarkable for its day. There are no other works of this scale from any of Monteverdi's contemporaries, so Vespers of 1610 wins points for scale alone. The music itself represents a number of different styles which form a much more cohesive whole than one might think.

This performance by Boston Baroque conducted by Martin Pearlman is excellent. The cover of the album states that the work is performed on period instruments. This lends an air of authenticity to the recording, and certainly influenced my listening experience. Anyway, having never listened to Vespers of 1610 before, I was absolutely impressed. If other reviews are to be believed, this is merely a workmanlike recording and "better" recordings are available. This seems a highly subjective statement, and doesn't influence how much I enjoyed this recording.

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