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The last of three volumes of The Sixteen’s series devoted to Monteverdi’s Selva morale e spirituale.
Without doubt, Monteverdi was the greatest of the early baroque European composers. He revolutionised the music of the theatre and the church by his dramatic and imaginative use of voices and instruments and by his daring harmonies and rhythms. Next to his Vespers of 1610, the Selva morale e spirituale of 1641 is his most significant and virtuosic collection of sacred music. Monteverdi stretches every singer’s versatility to the limit in this demanding but exhilarating music. Included on this final volume are the eight part Magnificat (Primo) - one of the most impressive of all Monteverdi’s settings with the added richness of doubling strings; the old style Credidi and Memento featuring the full choir; and the exquisitely beautiful soprano solo, Pianto della Madonna ‘Iam moriar, mi fili’, performed here by Grace Davidson.
“As we might expect, The Sixteen performances are lively and nicely tuned...Throughout, the instrumental playing is sensitive and supportive”
“There is in fact some very vigorous singing at times, sometimes a little too vigorous...The instrumental ensemble is excellent and there is some truly outstanding continuo colour throughout; David Miller's chitarrone in particular has much to do with this.”
“The choral, small ensemble and solo singing is always as accomplished as one expects from The Sixteen but singers benefit immeasurably from the subtly supportive continuo playing”