Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610 on the Feast of the Assumption


The resonant interior of St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney will tomorrow night be filled with the glorious sounds of choral singing and period brass as the choirs of the Cathedral and the neighbouring Anglican Church of St James, accompanied by Australian Baroque Brass, perform Monteverdi's celebrated setting of vespers (see more here and here).

There is a video of Australian Baroque Brass rehearsing this work with the Adelaide Chamber Singers in preparation for a concert in Adelaide in 2010.

For a CD recording of the work, it is hard to go past the one directed by Jordi Savall.  I bought a copy of this when I was in Lyon one year, and it have enjoyed listening to it regularly ever since.  Here's an extract:

I last attended a performance in Sydney of this work at the Anglican Christ Church St Laurence in 2010.  I seem to recall it was on a particularly hot March afternoon.  The polish on the pews - perhaps freshly applied to beautify the Church for the occasion - left a residue on the clothes of those audience members who were perspiring and glowing respectively!

For obvious reasons, 2010 was a Monteverdi Vespers year - and I have since learnt that the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs also performed the work in November of that year in Sydney's excellent City Recital Hall.