Jordi Savall – Claudio Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine (1989) [Reissue 2007] MCH SACD ISO + DSF DSD64 + Hi-Res FLAC

Jordi Savall – Claudio Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine (1989) [Reissue 2007]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 95:49 minutes | Basic Scans | 4,82 GB
or DSD64 2.0 Stereo (from SACD-ISO to Tracks.dsf) > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | Basic Scans | 2,36 GB
or FLAC Stereo (carefully converted & encoded to tracks) 24bit/48 kHz | Basic Scans | 1,02 GB
Features Stereo and Multichannel Surround Sound | Alia Vox Heritage # AVSA9855 A/B

Here is the first re-issue from the Astrée-Naive catalogue for Alia Vox Heritage. One of Jordi Savall’s legendary recordings, the Monteverdi Vespers was recorded in the Santa Barbara chapel in Mantova, Italy, the site of the premiere in 1610.

This is a Super Audio remastering of Savall’s 1988 recording (13:4), made in the ducal basilica of Santa Barbara in Mantua. Like Harry Christophers eight months earlier (12:6), Savall recast the work as a Vespers of St. Barbara, the patron of the basilica, on the assumption that it might have been performed there before publication. This was accomplished chiefly by using six chant antiphons for the feast that was proper to the basilica, even though they fitted the modes of the psalms no better than any Marian feast does (a point that I failed to grasp in the original review). Christophers went further, changing the litany to “Santa Barbara, ora pro nobis” and radically rearranging the order of the pieces, in the process completing a liturgical reconstruction of sorts. But Savall’s is the only recording of the masterpiece recorded in that basilica (John Eliot Gardiner did record it at St. Mark’s in Venice, 14:5). Even though it was recorded with a pair of omnidirectional microphones, it has been remastered for Super Audio surround sound, and the result is spectacular. The producer intended to capture the acoustics of the basilica that Monteverdi was familiar with. Savall thinks he might have first performed the work there, suggesting an occasion on March 25, 1610, without offering any evidence for the idea. Scholars have suggested a couple of other occasions that prove to be impossible on closer examination.

There have been over 20 recordings since then, and Masaaki Suzuki (25:2) and Rinaldo Alessandrini (28:4) are among the best, the latter among the few recordings that adopts a chamber style without choral voices. Both of these stick to the publication of 1610 with both Magnificats, transposing the two chiavette movements but adding nothing. It is tempting to include John Eliot Gardiner (14:5; DVD in 27:1) in a short list, but especially on DVD his effort to dramatize Vespers is wrongheaded. The Mass is an action, with movement and gesture; Vespers and other hours of the Office are simply ritual prayer, marked by little more than standing and kneeling in place. Along with the other positive attributes, Savall’s version is good because it is so well sung. All the original notes are retained, and Savall adds another note dated 2007. The date of death of Monteverdi’s predecessor in Mantua, Giovanni Gastoldi, is still described as “shortly after” 1608, though he lived until 1622. The packaging is even more sumptuous than the original issue. This is still one of the recommendable recordings of this masterpiece.


Disc 1 #01. Intonatio: Deus in adiutorium, Responsorium : Domine ad adiuvandum
Disc 1 #02. Antiphona: Angelicam vitam
Disc 1 #03. Psalmus 109: Dixit Dominus
Disc 1 #04. Concerto: Nigra sum
Disc 1 #05. Antiphona: ln Dei orto sata
Disc 1 #06. Psalmus 112: Laudate pueri
Disc 1 #07. Concerto: Pulchra es
Disc 1 #08. Antiphona: Paterni oblita amoris
Disc 1 #09. Psalmus 121: Laetatus sum
Disc 1 #10. Concerto: Duo Seraphim
Disc 1 #11. Antiphona: ln Sancte Trinitatis
Disc 1 #12. Psalmus 126: Nisi Dominus

Disc 2 #01. Concerto: Audi Coelum
Disc 2 #02. Antiphona: Trinitate venerata
Disc 2 #03. Psalmus 147: Lauda Jerusalem
Disc 2 #04. Sonata sopra Sancta Maria
Disc 2 #05. Hymnus: Ave maris stella
Disc 2 #06. Antiphona: Hodie beata Barbara
Disc 2 #07. Magnificat

Montserrat Figueras – Soprano
Maria Cristina Kiehr – Soprano
Livio Picotti – Countertenor
Paolo Costa – Countertenor
Daniele Carnovich – Bass
Roberto Abbondanza – Baritone
Pietro Spagnoli – Baritone
Gerd Türk – Tenor
Gian Paolo Fagotto – Tenor
Guy de Mey – Tenor
Paolo Costa – Tenor
Jordi Savall – Conductor
Orchestra/Ensemble: La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Padua Centre for Ancient Music Chorus

Recorded in Movember 1988 at Santa Barbara Basilica, Mantua, Italy.
Remastered by Nicolas De Beco.




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