Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano conjure up an account of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 that presents this familiar work as if it were a completely new discovery.
Repertoire: Vespers of 1610
Artists: Soloists, Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini
Label: Naïve OP 30403
By some marvellous trick of musical alchemy, Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano conjure up an account of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 that presents this familiar work as if it were a completely new discovery. The freshness of their performance goes beyond considerations of scholarship and ‘authenticity’ to reach the essential, life-enhancing spirit of the music, which here calls out to the listener with evangelical force. These seasoned early-music specialists prove that employing one voice per part enhances rather than reduces the richness of Monteverdi’s writing, allowing the utmost flexibility and fleetness of response to individual words and phrases without impoverishing the music’s nobility. There’s also a pay-off in terms of the variety of colours that emerge in this compelling recording.
Alessandrini takes full account of recent scholarship on the Vespers. He opts for the downward transpositions suggested for Lauda Jerusalem and the longer of Monteverdi’s two Magnificat settings, his ensemble fully justifying the results by their madrigal-like engagement with the text. The sacred concertos are delivered with almost shocking conviction, especially so in the ornament-rich reading of Duo Seraphim, presented here as an ecstatic glorification of the Holy Trinity. Buy it without delay!