About the album
Harry Christophers writes:
‘Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 is quite simply one of the greatest works of sacred music ever written and without doubt the most varied and inspired before Handel and Bach began composing their oratorios and passions. Where it was written, why it was written and who it was written for are actually immaterial – suffice it to say it was quite simply his calling card for the big job, Choirmaster at the resplendent Basilica of St Mark in Venice. Its variety alone makes it unique – thrilling psalm settings with virtuosic writing for both multi-part choir and instrumentalists to exotic and sensual settings of texts from the Song of Songs for solo voices. Every movement is full of luscious harmonies, drama and an evocative musical language which is so beautifully constructed for all concerned.
‘There has been much scholarly debate about the pitch of Lauda Jerusalem and the Magnificat. These are notated in the part books in a combination of “high” (chiavetti) clefs which dictates a downward transposition of a fourth. For this recording I decided to include both versions, one at high pitch and one at low, so that you the listener can determine your own preference.’