Monteverdi: Vespers of the Blessed Virgin (1610)

Monteverdi: Vespers of the Blessed Virgin (1610)

Release Date:

10th September 2010

Cat No:



£19.49 (2CD | 36 page booklet)



“This recording is stunningly different from the norm. This is because Sorrell knows that ‘authentic performances’ do not guarantee ‘authentic experiences’…The real understanding of style is everywhere” — 

“This is a performance that is light on its feet and, without descending into mannerism, enjoys the rhetorical detail in Monteverdi’s word-setting. The choral chanting in the “Dixit Dominus” and the batted double-choir alternations of the “Nisi Dominus” are fast and fiery, but at other times there is great tenderness and reverence.” – Gramophone

“a compelling account that can hold its own against any rivals. The choral singing is rhythmically incisive and the instrumental colours blaze brilliantly.”★★★★ The Sunday Times


The Cleveland-based baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire, together with founder / conductor Jeannette Sorrell, launched on Avie in July 2010 with a double release featuring discs of Mozart and J.S. Bach. They follow with their tribute to the 400th anniversary year of Monteverdi’s seminal Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, released in anticipation of the group’s first European tour which culminates with their Wigmore Hall debut on 30 November. Vespers has been a signature piece for Apollo’s Fire for over ten years, and it’s fitting for Sorrell and her vibrant band to bring this magnificent masterwork to wider audiences through this recording.



CD 1

Vespro Della Beata Vergine (1610)
1. Versicle & Response: Deus in adjutorium (2:10)
2. Antiphon: Laeva ejus sub capite meo (0:19)
3. Psalm 109: Dixit Dominus (7:13)
4. Motet: Nigra sum (4:05)
5. Antiphon: Nigra sum sed formorsa (0:26)
6. Psalm 112: Laudate pueri (5:53)
7. Motet: Pulchra es (4:02)
8. Antiphon: Pulchra es et decora (0:24)
9. Psalm 121: Laetatus sum (6:29)
10. Motet: Duo Seraphim (5:51)
11. Antiphon: Iam hiems transit (0:24)
12. Psalm 126: Nisi Dominus (4:36)

Total time CD 1: 41:52

CD 2
1. Motet: Audi Coelum (4:44)
2. Audi Coelum: Omnes hanc ergo (3:56)
3. Antiphon: Virgo prudentissima (0:47)
4. Psalm 147: Lauda, Jerusalem (4:07)
5. Sonata sopra Santa Maria (6:52)
6. Hymn: Ave maris stella (7:45)

7. Antiphon: Sancta Maria succure miseris (1:03)
8. Magnificat anima mea (0:51)
9. Et exultavit (1:19)
10. Quia respexit humilitatem (1:33)
11. Quia fecit mihi magna (1:12)
12. Et misericordia (2:02)
13. Fecit potentiam (1:03)
14. Deposuit potentes (2:27)
15. Esurientes (1:30)
16. Suscepit Israel (1:21)
17. Sicut locutus est (1:01)
18. Gloria Patri (2:21)
19. Sicut erat in principio (2:21)

Total time CD 2: 48:17

Recorded at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, in November 1998
Fred Bashour, recording engineer & producer
Originally released in 1999 on the Eclectra label
Revised 2010 version: mixing by Robert Friedrich, Five/Four Productions, Ltd., editing by Erica Brenner

Related Releases: