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Monteverdi 1610 Vespers
Sat 20 May 2017, 19:45 – 21:30 BST
A towering masterpiece of the early Baroque, at once intimate and grand, prayerful and dramatic, exalted and sensual, Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers of the Blessed Virgin presents a dazzling array of textures and sonorities in brilliant instrumental writing, opulent choruses and moving solo arias and duets. The work is both unique and iconic, despite the fact that its performance history is relatively short. The first full public presentations of the work were in the 1930s, and recordings didn’t appear until the 1950s, making the Vespers an essentially modern presence. The work is a calculated summation of the composer’s skill as a writer of sacred music at a time when he was primarily known as a madrigalist, albeit one wanting to escape the frustrations of Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga's court in Mantua. In the event, the publication of the Vespers almost certainly helped him secure the prestigious post of maestro di cappella at St Mark’s in Venice, which he would keep until his death in 1643. In this performance, in the month that marks the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth, Collegium Musicum of London Chamber Choir – under the inspired and agile direction of Greg Morris – joins forces with a glittering ensemble of soloists, alongside the Quintessential Sackbut and Cornett Ensemble, for what promises to be a memorable evening’s music-making, in one of the capital’s most elegant and charismatic baroque venues.
Grace Davidson & Amy Haworth (soprano) David Allsopp (alto), Matthew Sandy and James Way (tenor) Thomas Guthrie and Richard Latham (bass).
To celebrate the 450th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi’s birth, there will be a pre-concert talk given by CML Musical Director Greg Morris, featuring Grace Davidson (soprano) and Richard Thomas (leader, Quintessential Sackbut and Cornett Ensemble) at 6.30 pm in St James’s. When booking, please ensure that you buy ‘pre-concert talk’ tickets. Drinks will be available between the talk and the concert, and after the concert.