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Monteverdi Vespers of 1610

Event Details

Monteverdi Vespers of 1610

Time: February 7, 2015 from 7pm to 10pm
Location: St John's Smith Square
Event Type: concert
Organized By: David Winskill
Latest Activity: Feb 8, 2015

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Event Description


Saturday 7 February 2015 at 7:30 PM
St John's Smith Square SW1P 3HA

Four hundred years after they were written, Monteverdi’s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin continue to serve up a rich and varied musical feast.

Thought by some to have been composed as an audition piece to help Monteverdi secure a more prestigious job, the work is renowned for its beautiful vocal lines and stunning virtuoso passages, surprising and delighting with frequent changes of mood, rhythm and musical form.

Top soloists join Crouch End Festival Chorus and The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble to bring this thrilling work to St John’s Smith Square.  

Book by telephone on 020 7222 1061
Or online at www.sjss.org.uk

Comment Wall

Comment by David Winskill on February 8, 2015 at 13:18

The Vespers of 1610 were over one hundred years old when St John’s first opened its doors to worshipers. Three hundred years later a full house turned up on Saturday to hear Monteverdi’s incredible 100 minute conversation with angels.


It is a wonderfully uplifting series of motets devoted to The Virgin and built round a structure of five Psalms. The opening has the choir in full flight creating the astonishing wall of sound that Monteverdi envisaged four centuries ago. Each of the subsequent twelve mini pieces is a masterwork in its own right.


There are references to other of his creations (especially Beatus Vir) and borrowings from plainchant and other musical traditions – the magisterial bass of a Jewish cantor especially stood out. There were magical moments as one of the two excellent tenors left the stage to disappear and act as an echo for the other so creating an other-worldly effect.


The programme notes suggest that he composed the work as part of a job application for a position at Pope Paul V’s Vatican. We’ve all applied for jobs and sent in what we think is a reasonable CV only to be disappointed not to get an interview. Monteverdi wasn’t successful – so, just who got the gig?!


The only experience that many Crouch Enders will have of CEFC will be listening to them sing carols at Christmas outside the Town Hall or Budgens. They are great at that but It really is worth making a promise to yourself to go to one of their concerts this year and hear one of the finest symphonic choruses in Europe.



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