Monday, August 2, 2010

Monteverdi: Vespers of 1610

Classical, Baroque | 2 CD | EAC | APE+CUE+LOG | Scans | 389 MB | RS | TT 93:29
Recorded: February 1997, Campion Center, Massachusetts | Released: 1997 | Label: TELARC 80453

Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman (conductor)

This set was nominated for the 1999 Grammy Awards for "Best Engingeered Album, Classical" and "Best Choral Performance."

Claudio Monteverdi's 'Vespers of the Blessed Virgin' are among history's great showpieces, having set new standards for sonic opulence in the early Baroque which are still hard to surpass today. Scored for seven vocal soloists, multiple choirs and orchestra, the Vespers, as published in 1610, are settings of texts common to the various feasts in the church year honoring the Virgin Mary. There is some mystery surrounding the works, as no one is sure for what occasion, if any, they were written, how or where they were first performed and even for what instruments some of the parts were intended.

Boston Baroque's director Martin Pearlman has put together a comparatively large orchestra of twenty-two period instruments with a chorus of thirty voices for this recording. In order to place the music in a liturgical context chants for an appropriate festival must be added and he has done that here with antiphons from the late summer Feast of Assumption. The performance, recorded in a suitably spacious acoustic, does justice to all the facets of this dazzling work, its virtuoso instrumental writing, intimate arias and massive ensembles, proving again that whatever form it takes, it still has the power to amaze.

'...[Jeffrey Kurtzman's] analysis of almost every known recording, approached with the insight of a specialist and a scholar, should give us a valuable, nay definitive, discography of the work. Hence Martin Pearlman could have done no better than pick his brains before realizing his performance, and that he did...Pearlman is the best choice for one who is coming to the work now for the first time...The surround sound is spectacular...' (Weber, Fanfare)

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The archive password is pearlman

Release size is 389MB


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