I confess, I'm a huge fan of Monteverdi. His music just sings to me, in the same way that Giovanni Gabrieli's music calls to me. It speaks directly to the soul. But I don't mean that to sound crazy; Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 soar majestically, lyrically, beautifully. They range from intimate strings, to huge choral voices that you can just imagine echoing around St Marks in Venice, or St Peters in Rome. Vast numbers of expert singers, talented musicians and soaring spaces to take the voices direct to Heaven.
This 1610 publication was produced by Monteverdi while he was choirmaster to Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua. Monteverdi's music of the time was conservative, yet innovative; designed to appeal to the Counter-Reformation papacy and to prove his musical composing abilities. I'd say he succeeded.
Robert King and the King's Consort approach this music with great empathy and learned interpretation as always. I would have to say I always know any cd with these performers is bound to be hugely satisfying to me as a listener. The booklet offers full details of the work, and a full transcription of the lyrics. This music, and this 2-cd set, is as the booklet says "massive, sumptuous". I agree, and I love it. It is never clouded, over-busy or lost in its own grandeur. It is over two hours of near perfection. Guaranteed to give you goosebumps.