Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Monteverdi The Sacred Music Volume 4

The King's Consort cond Robert King


Hyperion CDA67519 [Feb 2004 70 mins]


Laetatus sum I

Salve Regina

Domine, ne in furore tyo

Salve Regina II

Dixit Dominus II

Sanctorum meritis II

Adoremus te, Christe

Beatus vir

Exulta, filia Sion

Magnificat II

Salve, o Regina , o Mater

Laudate Dominim omnes gentes III



This is the fourth in Hyperion's latest series which will eventually encompass the complete cannon of Monteverdi's sacred music, composed over a period of more than forty years.


It is a particularly rich legacy as Monteverdi made settings in a wide variety of styles. The earlier works may have simply been sample pieces to practice and demonstrate his proficiency in this area, the later pieces written to suit the requirements and resources of great churches that commissioned them.


Hyperion have drawn works from a number of sources, both those collected and published by the composer and from anthologies and other published sources deriving from Italy and elsewhere in Europe.


The strategy behind the recording edition is an intelligent one. Items have been arranged to contrast styles and alternate items for one or two voices with those for ensemble, so that each CD makes for a pleasant hour of listening. But there is meat in the sandwich and for example the ability in Volume 4 to compare three varied settings of the Salve Regina on one CD is of particular interest a particular trait of Monteverdi's sacred music is his practice of repeating, adding, or re-arranging words, clearly for him musical phrasing took precedence over liturgical text and this is amply demonstrated here.


Both vocal and instrumental performance are impeccable, and I greatly look forward to the next volume in the series.


Serena Fenwick


© Peter Grahame Woolf