Eternal Monteverdi

Vespro della Beata Vergine 1650
La Capella Ducale, Musica Fiata, Roland Wilson
82:02
deutsche harmonia mundi 8-89853 75132-7
+Grandi, Neri & Rigatti

These experienced performers present a fascinating reconstruction of Marian Vespers using the posthumous Vincenti 1650 publication of Monteverdi’s late motets. As they assert in the notes, this music deserves to be as well known as the 1610 vespers music, and perhaps by drawing it together into a putative Vespers service and juxtaposing it with music by Monteverdi’s less famous but equally sparkling successors Rigatti, Neri and Grandi they have gone some considerable way to increase its popularity. If we could have wished for a very slightly more resonant acoustic, these are beautiful performances sung and played with the assurance that comes from specializing in this type of repertoire for several decades. I am sure I have heard most of the Monteverdi pieces before, but hearing them in this new context added to their impact, and the works by Giovanni Rigatti, beautifully sung by Georg Poplutz and Dominik Wörner, further added to the already high estimation in which I hold this sadly overshadowed composer. A work I had certainly never heard was Monteverdi’s remarkable six-part Laetania della beatae Vergine  which concludes the recording. It’s wonderfully looping phraseology and inventive setting were an entirely suitable way to conclude this ground-breaking and very generously filled CD.

D. James Ross