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Claudio Monteverdi: Selva Morale e Spirituale, Vol. 1

Notes & Reviews:

Without doubt, Monteverdi was the greatest of the early baroque European composers. He revolutionized the music of the theatre and the church with his dramatic, imaginative use of voices and instruments, and with 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. Over the next few years, The Sixteen will record the complete publication with a variety of forces for Coro.

"There's a nice immediacy to the choral sound here, without too much churchy resonance obscuring the clarity of the diction and articulation of the Sixteen's performances, one to a part up to a maximum of eight singers." -The Guardian ****

"the members of The Sixteen prove to be more insightfully dramatic and precise with their delivery of words than some acclaimed continental consorts...this first instalment shows Christophers and his musicians at their very finest, communicating an evangelising zeal for the music married to an obvious keeness [sic] to express words" -Gramophone Magazine

"these are some of the most spirited and individual performances of this repertory available...the standard of solo singing is very good. The ad hoc instrumentalists provide sensitive, stylish support thoughout." -BBC Music Magazine *****

"Among the strengths in these performances are the thrilling instrumental playing by the violinists, Walter Reiter and Simon Jones, whose ornamentation is both stylish and inventive. Also deserving the highest praise is the harp playing of Frances Kelly..[and] the singing of the three tenors, Joseph Cornwell, Mark Dobell and Julian Stocker, which is airy, agile and highly expressive." -International Record Review


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