Claudio Monteverdi: Vespro Di Natale / Christmas

Album cover art for upc 028948629770
Label: DG
Catalog: 4862977
Format: CD

A Christmas Vespers in Venice at the time of Claudio Monteverdi A magnificent Vespro veneziano has been recorded by Andrea Marcon with his ensemble La Cetra, as it might have been heard in St. Mark's Basilica in 17th century Venice. With this double album, the celebrated ensemble & choir La Cetra from Basel presents a colorful baroque Christmas vespers with compositions by Claudio Monteverdi, Giovanni Gabrieli, Alessandro Grandi, Francesco Usper and Giovanni Valentini The project was recorded in the church of Santa Caterina in Treviso, which allowed the use of a large medium-tone organ: the tonal possibilities of this organ have influenced numerous aspects of musical interpretation. These include a sharpening and differentiation of the affetti and chiaroscuri (the sharp contrasts so typical of the early 17th century), of harmonic tension, and an enlargement and intensification of the dynamic palette of the ensemble. All of this adds up to a surprisingly modern, grandiose, glorious, and lively sound image of Monteverdi's music that makes the Splendore di Venezia immediately tangible to the senses. This is what a Vespers in a solemn liturgy of the Christmas season might have sounded like at the beginning of the 17th century in Venice under the direction of Claudio Monteverdi: an extraordinary picture of early Baroque Italian church music. Buon natale!

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