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Monteverdi: Vespers

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About this title: Although it doesn't say so on the cover, this recording of Monteverdi's Vespers is the fifth volume in Robert King and his King's Consort's survey of the complete sacred music of Monteverdi. This bears mentioning because anyone who likes this recording of the Vespers may be interested in hearing the earlier and later volumes in King's collection -- and anyone who likes this recording will probably include everyone who hears this recording. While there are some interpretive oddities -- King transposes a couple of pieces and also adds both the "Six Voice Magnificat" and the Missa "In illo tempore" to the program, thereby including all the music in the original 1610 publication -- this is surely one of the great recordings of the work. Why? First, King is very aware of the Vespers' worth: he invests every line with meaning and moment, every movement with power and passion, and the whole work with majesty and spirituality. Second, King's soloists are consistently first-rate and wholly dedicated from the...

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