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Claudio MONTEVERDI (1567-1643)
The Sacred Music: Vol. 4

Laetatus sum I [6:37]
Salve Regina [4:20]
Domine, ne in furore tuo [2:45]
Salve Regina I [8:39]
Dixit Dominus II [5:26]
Sanctorum meritis II [3:20]
Adoramus te, Christe [4:35]
Beatus vir [8:19]
Exulta, filia Sion [5:07]
Magnificat II [9:26]
Salve, o Regina, o Mater [5:00]
Laudate Dominum omnes gentes III [4:27]
Carolyn Sampson (sop); Rebecca Outram (sop); Cecilia Osmond (sop); Daniel Auchincloss (high tenor); Rogers Covey-Crump (high tenor); Charles Daniels (tenor); James Gilchrist (tenor); Peter Harvey (bass); Robert Evans (bass)
Choir of the King’s Consort
The King’s Consort/Robert King
rec. St Jude-on the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, 12-18 Feb 2004. DDD
HYPERION CDA67519 [69:24]

Monteverdi was a composer equally at home in the worlds of opera, secular madrigals and sacred music – in which category he is particularly famed for his Vespers.

This is the fourth volume of Hyperion’s highly acclaimed series of Monteverdi’s sacred works with Robert King and the King’s Consort. The pieces (mostly motets) are drawn from both Monteverdi's own Selva Morale e Spirituale and anthologies compiled by other contemporary publishers.

As with the previous three volumes, all the works included are absolute gems – brimming with exquisite craftsmanship and intense beauty of musical language. There is a good range in the forces employed – some works are for solo tenor only, others for soloists alone, choir, or all soloists and choir, providing an interesting variety.

I was particularly taken with the vivacious and aptly jubilant setting of Laetatus sum – which includes some nice word-painting (listen out for "ascenderunt"!), and the gorgeous, lilting Beatus vir. The syncopation of Domine, ne in furore tuo is delightful, as is the curious combination of the Salve Regina text with that of Audi coelum in the beautiful Salve Regina for tenor duet, with its wonderful echo effects. The disc concludes with the glorious Laudate Dominum omnes gentes.

The performance is, as would be expected of such a well-respected group as the King’s Consort, of a consistently high standard, with both excellent ensemble and solo singing. This is not surprising when one notes that the soloists include Rogers Covey-Crump, Charles Daniels and James Gilchrist. I was impressed by both the textural clarity and the beautifully poised flow of the interweaving voice lines. The internal balance is good, and the musicians respond to each other with a confidence that is a joy to hear. This disc comes highly recommended.

Em Marshall




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