Monteverdi: Messa et Salmi

Monteverdi: Messa et Salmi

96880 (Brilliant Classics, CD, 2 discs)

FIRST RELEASE (1 March 2024)

Playing time: 80'03"/73'52" - TT 153'55"
Tracks: 14 + 14
Booklet pages: 8
℗ 2024 Brilliant Classics
© 2024 Brilliant Classics
Main country of recording: Netherlands
Country of manufacture: European Union
Reviewer: Gerald Fenech
Review of Monteverdi: Messa et Salmi published on 14 March 2024

Le Nuove Musiche
Krijn Koetsveld, artistic leader


Claudio Monteverdi:

Messa a quattro voci
1 Kyrie
2 Gloria
3 Credo
4 Sanctus
5 Benedictus
6 Agnus Dei

7 Dixit Dominus I

8 Confitebor tibi I

9 Nisi Dominus I

10 Laudate pueri Dominum

11 Laetatus sum I

12 Lauda Jerusalem I

13 Beatus vir

Francesco Cavalli:

14 Magnificat


Claudio Monteverdi:

Messa in illo tempore
1 Kyrie
2 Gloria
3 Credo

4 Sanctus
5 Benedictus
6 Agnus Dei [1]
7 Agnus Dei [2]

8 Dixit Dominus II

9 Confitebor tibi II

10 Nisi Dominus II

11 Laudate Dominum omnes gentes

12 Laetatus sum II

13 Laetaniae della beata Vergine

14 Lauda Jerusalem II

In 1650, seven years after Claudio Monteverdi's death, the Venetian publisher Alessandro Vincenti, with the help of Francesco Cavalli, a student and successor of Monteverdi, decided to put together the compilation Messa a quattro voci et salmi. It was a unique tribute to Monteverdi. In an era when looking back was not fashionable, the preservation of written music was rare, and for the most part the names of dead musicians were quickly forgotten, Monteverdi's fame seemed to persist for a long time. In 1641 Monteverdi himself had compiled the collection Selva Morale et Spirituale. Perhaps he considered these to be the great treasures of his oeuvre. But there must have been many more. After all, music was always written for Liturgia Horarum (the Liturgy of the Hours) and for special occasions, and Monteverdi was not excepted from this practice. Cavalli and Vincenti had plenty to choose from when putting together this beautiful compilation, to which Cavalli added his own Magnificat. Alongside the Messa a quattro - church music in the old contrapuntal style - there is a lot of other beautiful music. We find the Confitebor in two different versions - Monteverdi was constantly modifying existing pieces - which gives us a nice insight into how he worked. We also know that Monteverdi looked back to the old contrapuntal techniques in his church music. The Laudate pueri, Laetatus sum, Nisi Dominus II and the Lauda Jerusalem for five voices are good examples of this. In contrast to this are the works where he looked forwards, where he translated the concertante practice into psalms such as Nisi Dominus I and the intoxicating Beatus vir. In the Laetatus sum, he lets the infinite possibilities over an infinitely repeating bass be heard. The second CD begins with a mass that was written as an opening piece for the Marian Vespers: the Messa in illo tempore. And with this, we complete the circle. In 1610 Monteverdi began a church-music career that to the end of his life was notable for the enormous variety of styles he employed. We should be grateful that Cavalli and Vincenti, perhaps driven by commercial interests, left us this extra treasure.

Recorded in February 2021, October 2022, January and June 2023 at St Martinuskerk, Hoogland, Nederland.