Monteverdi: Mass and Vespers 1610 1640 1650

Listen to choir director Roderick Earle’s Radio Suffolk interview where he talks about the choir and the Monteverdi concert.

Our next concert in St Edmunsbury Cathedral on 26 October will present some of Monteverdi’s finest sacred music as it might have been heard in the context of Mass and Vespers for the feast of St. Mark in Venice in the mid 17th century.
Drawing from the three of the major publications of Monteverdi’s sacred music (1610, 1640 and 1650) the concert begins with his last 4 part setting of the Mass published after his death in 1650 and ends with the rarely heard ‘alternative’ 6 part Magnificat from the famous 1610 Marian Vespers. In this version with only organ continuo the famous echo duet is sung by two sopranos.
Written in both the older polyphonic and the newer concertante styles, the various psalm settings appropriate to Vespers include his catchy Confitebor tibi III which Monteverdi describes as being in the French style with a soprano soloist alternating with the full choir. Two sopranos soloists feature again in the joyous 8 part Laudate Dominum III . The 5 part Laudate Pueri III and Beatus Vir II complete the setting of Vespers which begins with the massive double choir Dixit Dominus III.
Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge (Director Jeremy White), one of the leading proponents of Gregorian chant, will sing all the appropriate plainsong Propers and Antiphons for the feast of St Mark as well as the hymn appointed for the feast, giving an appropriate framework for the larger choral settings.
This concert will be a unique opportunity to hear this great music, much of it written for performance in St. Mark’s Venice, in its appropriate liturgical sequence and in a fitting acoustic.