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Venetian Vespers (1643) /Gabrieli Consort · McCreesh

Paul McCreesh Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £11.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Performer: Timothy Roberts
  • Orchestra: Gabrieli Consort, Gabrieli Players
  • Conductor: Paul McCreesh
  • Composer: Anonymous, Adriano Banchieri, Francesco Cavalli, Giovanni Battista Fasolo
  • Audio CD (27 April 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Archiv Produktion
  • ASIN: B000026CKI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,478 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Gabrieli: First Vespers of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin (as it might have been celebrated in St. Mark's, Venice in 1643) - Sacristy bellPaul McCreesh0:11£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Gabrieli: First Vespers of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin (as it might have been celebrated in St. Mark's, Venice in 1643) - Arr. Timothy Roberts - Organ: IntonazioneTimothy Roberts 1:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Gabrieli: First Vespers of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin (as it might have been celebrated in St. Mark's, Venice in 1643) - Arr. Timothy Roberts - Versicle & Response: Deus in adiutorium / DoPaul McCreesh0:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Gabrieli: First Vespers of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin (as it might have been celebrated in St. Mark's, Venice in 1643) - Arr. Timothy Roberts - Antiphon: Angelus DominiPaul McCreesh0:35£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Rigatti: Messa e salmi (1640) - Psalm 109: "Dixit Dominus"Charles Daniels13:12£1.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Grandi: Motetti a voce sola (1621) - O intemerataCharles Daniels 4:22£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Grandi: Antiphon: Beata es MariaPaul McCreesh0:40£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Monteverdi: Selva morale e spirituale - Psalm 112: "Laudate pueri"Angus Smith 7:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Banchieri: L'organo suonarino - Organ: Suonata primaTimothy Roberts0:52£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Banchieri: L'organo suonarino - Antiphon: Beatam me dicentPaul McCreesh0:36£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Monteverdi: Messa ... e salmi - Psalm 121: "Laetatus sum"Charles Daniels 6:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Finetti: Concerti ecclesiastici (1621) - Motet: "O Maria, quae rapis corda hominum"Timothy Wilson 3:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Finetti: Concerti ecclesiastici (1621) - Antiphon: Haec est quae nescavitPaul McCreesh0:39£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Rigatti: Messa e salmi (1640) - Psalm 126: "Nisi Dominus"Timothy Wilson 8:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Banchieri: L'organo suonarino - Organ: Dialogo secondoTimothy Roberts 1:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Banchieri: L'organo suonarino - Antiphon: Ante thronumPaul McCreesh0:31£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Cavalli: Musiche sacre (1656) - Psalm 147: "Lauda Jerusalem"Angus Smith 9:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Grandi: Ghirlanda sacra, libro primo (1625) - Motet: "O quam tu pulchra es"Paul McCreesh 3:46£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Anonymous: Organ: PraeambulumTimothy Roberts 1:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Anonymous: Chapter: Ecce virgoPaul McCreesh0:37£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Monteverdi: Selva morale e spirituale - Hymn: "Deus qui mundum crimine iacentem"Charles Pott 4:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Monteverdi: Selva morale e spirituale - Versicle & Response: Ave Maria / Dominus tecumPaul McCreesh0:23£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Monteverdi: Selva morale e spirituale - Antiphon: Spiritus SanctusPaul McCreesh0:41£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Rigatti: Messa e salmi (1640) - MagnificatCharles Daniels 7:46£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Marini: Sonate, symphonie, canzoni, opera ottava (1626) - Sonata con tre violini in ecoPaul McCreesh 5:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Marini: Sonate, symphonie, canzoni, opera ottava (1626) - Collect: Dominus vobiscum - Deus, qui de beatae MariaePaul McCreesh 1:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Marini: Sonate, symphonie, canzoni, opera ottava (1626) - Dismissal: Dominus vobiscum - Benedicamus DominoPaul McCreesh0:18£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Monteverdi: Selva morale e spirituale - "Laudate Dominum" (Terzo)Angus Smith 3:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Fasolo: Annuale - Organ: Intonazione (excerpt)Timothy Roberts0:48£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Rigatti: Messa e salmi ariosi (1643) - Motet: "Salve regina"Charles Daniels 5:36£0.79  Buy MP3 


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holy music 20 Dec 2005
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Venice, once the most powerful city in the world due to its position in trade routes and as a nexus for military activities between the East and West, was also a leading centre for the arts and music for generations. As often happens, the cultural influence of the city remained strong long after the political and economic power was gone. So strong was the influence of Venice at this time that musicians and artists of other nations came to Venice to study, and carried back the influence to their home countries. One of the towering figures of this history was Claudio Monteverdi, who along with his many compositions sacred and secular, is credited with the first opera, 'L'Orfeo'. Monteverdi's compositions form the heart of this collection, which is designed as would be a Vespers service in St. Mark's Basilica in 1643.
Monteverdi is the leading light in this collection, but other composers of the time are also featured. The great Giovanni Gabrieli is acknowledged not only in the opening piece, but also in the name of the performers: the Gabrieli Consort and Players, under the direction of Paul McCreesh. Other composers featured include Rigatti, Grandi, Banchieri, Finetti, Cavalli, Marini, and Fasolo. The service of Vespers at St. Mark's was an elaborate affair, enhanced with extraliturgical motets and instrumental music, according to McCreesh. This was not according to standard liturgical practice, but was typical Venetian practice, where the Vespers became a very popular event. The Doge regularly attended the service.
This recording includes musical settings and plainchant from the time. While St. Mark's had a choir and consort of players totaling as many as 30 people each, usually services would only require about half that number.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Falling asleep 7 April 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Chances are that if you're listening to this album on a comfortable couch, you'll surely fall asleep! I bet the Venetian Doge must have done so, at some point in the 90 minutes + service.

That happens obviously because the music is not ravishing, there's little from Monteverdi or Gabrieli. A much better album is, by the same interpreters Venetian Easter Mass /Gabrieli Consort · McCreesh

I cannot forget the comparison with Mozart's Vespers: the excitement, the brilliance, the choral mastery, the orchestral forces, the melodies, the harmonies; how did western music progress in 100 years!

Even Monteverdi's Vespers of 30 years earlier are a much more serious proposition. It seems the musical standards in Venice faltered along with the political and trading power of the Republic.

Needless to say, the recorded sound is up to Archiv's standards.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holy music 16 Oct 2005
By FrKurt Messick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Venice, once the most powerful city in the world due to its position in trade routes and as a nexus for military activities between the East and West, was also a leading centre for the arts and music for generations. As often happens, the cultural influence of the city remained strong long after the political and economic power was gone. So strong was the influence of Venice at this time that musicians and artists of other nations came to Venice to study, and carried back the influence to their home countries. One of the towering figures of this history was Claudio Monteverdi, who along with his many compositions sacred and secular, is credited with the first opera, 'L'Orfeo'. Monteverdi's compositions form the heart of this collection, which is designed as would be a Vespers service in St. Mark's Basilica in 1643.

Monteverdi is the leading light in this collection, but other composers of the time are also featured. The great Giovanni Gabrieli is acknowledged not only in the opening piece, but also in the name of the performers: the Gabrieli Consort and Players, under the direction of Paul McCreesh. Other composers featured include Rigatti, Grandi, Banchieri, Finetti, Cavalli, Marini, and Fasolo. The service of Vespers at St. Mark's was an elaborate affair, enhanced with extraliturgical motets and instrumental music, according to McCreesh. This was not according to standard liturgical practice, but was typical Venetian practice, where the Vespers became a very popular event. The Doge regularly attended the service.

This recording includes musical settings and plainchant from the time. While St. Mark's had a choir and consort of players totaling as many as 30 people each, usually services would only require about half that number. The choir would have had castrati as part of the vocal ensemble; that vocal range has been provided here by female sopranos and male falsettists.

Paul McCreesh formed the Gabrieli Consort and Players while still a student at Manchester University in the 1980s. Since then, the group and conductor have gone on to international awards and acclaim, specialising in music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, which this particular disc fits by being done at the mid-point of the transition between the two.

This is a glorious, two-disc collection, done in a wonderful form of reconstructing what an actual service would be like. It is a brilliant performance, with graceful vocal and instrumental blending and strong tones of the spirit of music.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a voice teacher and early music fan' 4 Feb 2008
By George Peabody - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
'FIRST VESPERS OF THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN as it might have been celebrated in St. Mark's Venice in 1643. Throughout the 17th century St. Mark's followed its own special liturgy, and an elaborate ceremonial rite which required the performance of music in varying styles reflecting the status of feast days. In the 16th century double-choir polyphonic psalm-settings were employed with soloists in one choir and 'ripieni'(doubling the leading vocal part) in the other.

The service of Vespers is the principal evening office of the Catholic church. The present recording takes the form of 'Vespers of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin' as it might have been celebrated on Friday,24 March 1643, the last year of Mondeverdi's life.

Monteverdi is somewhat the focus of this recording which include four of his finest Venetian works, but the majority of the pieces are composed by his colleagues at St. Mark's: Grandi, Marini, Rigatti and Cavalli, Only Finetti, organist at Monteverdi's parish church of the Frari, had no direct connection with the basilica.

The very fine Gabrielli Consort on this recording consists of some truly excellent singers, from which McCreesh pulls his solo voices. The featured soloists are: sopranos Tessa Bonner and Susan H Jones- falsettist David Hurley and Timothy Wilson- tenors Charles Daniels and Mark le Brocq-baritones Peter Harvey and Charles Pott- basses Jonathan Best and Adrian Peacock. They are all experienced in this genre with its truly unique and challanging kind of singing. When the entire Consort sings, the resonance and beauty of sound is amazing.

It was all so well-done, but I especially enjoyed Finetti's beautiful Motet: 'O Maria, quae rapis corda hominum'; just incredible sound from the two falsettist. The motet is considered to be typically Venetian in its quasi-erotic approach to Marian worship.

The Psalm 'Lauda Jerusalem' by Cavalli employs no formal structures, but contrasts various combinations of solo voices with full sections, recalling the double-choir dialogues of 'cori speccati'. I found this work to be most unusual and highly entertaining.

As one might expect, most of the selections are a cappella and those that are not made use of light organ accompaniment, chitarrone and double harp. There is also a 'Sonata for three Violins' by Marini and some very fine organ excerpts by several of the composers played very well by Timothy Roberts.

This is a very good pair of CD's from which you can derive much listening pleasure. I have several of Paul McCreesh's recordings and I'm never disappointed because everything is done in a superior fashion!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Vesper Service from the Year of Monteverdi's Death 5 Mar 2008
By Leslie Richford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
"Venetian Vespers": First Vespers of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, as it might have been celebrated in St. Mark's, Venice, in 1643. With music by Monteverdi, Rigatti, Grandi, Cavalli, Finetti, Marini, Banchieri, Giovanni Gabrieli and Fasolo. Performed by the Gabrieli Consort & Players [Soloists: Tessa Bonner, Susan Hemington Jones, soprano; David Hurley, Timothy Wilson, falsetto; Charles Daniels, Mark le Brocq, Angus Smith, Andrew Tusa, Robert Horn, tenor; Charles Pott, Peter Harvey, baritone; Jonathan Best, Adrian Peacock, bass; Florian Deuter, Frances Turner, Henrietta Wayne, violin; Timothy Roberts, organ; Paula Chateauneuf, Fred Jacobs, Chitarrone; Celia Harper, double harp], dir. Paul McCreesh. Recorded in September 1990 in Brinkburn Priory, Northumberland, England. First published in 1993. Re-issued at mid-price in 1999 as Deutsche Grammophon Archiv 459 457-2. Total playing time: 95'35".

Paul McCreesh and his ensemble shot to fame (at least in early music circles) in 1990 by means of their speculative but equally spectacular recording of "A Venetian Coronation 1595" for the Virgin Classics label (A Venetian Coronation 1595). When they were offered a contract with Deutsche Grammophon, it was presumably the obvious thing to do to record a similar reconstruction of music from Venice, especially as the music of Monteverdi was undergoing something of a renaissance at the end of the 80's, but Monteverdi's "Vespers of the Blessed Virgin" had already been brilliantly recorded a number of times (Gardiner: Monteverdi: Vespro Della Beata Vergine; Herreweghe: Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine; Parrott: Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610/Venetian Vespers; Pickett: Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine / Pickett, New London Consort; Savall: Vespro DeLla Beata Vergine). So it was decided to record a vesper service from the year 1643, the year in which Monteverdi died. This would create an opportunity to present the music of some of Monteverdi's colleagues and/or rivals from St. Mark's. After doing some thorough research (the booklet hints at this but nowhere names the sources of the material), Paul McCreesh put together a program of something over 90 minutes containing, similarly to his first Venice CD, bells and Gregorian chant, but also organ music and, most importantly, some glorious psalm motets. In all this, it is NOT Monteverdi who is the focal point (as another reviewer has wrongly affirmed), although you will find four lovely pieces by him here, none of them (I believe) from the "Vespers of the Blessed Virgin" - Monteverdi's music fills a mere 21 minutes of these CDs. Of course, any fan of 17th century Italian music should know these pieces - just listen for example to the motet "Laudate Dominum", here performed by Angus Smith (although I personally found Catherine Bott's version of this piece on her Decca album "Virtuoso Italian Vocal Music" even more enthralling: Virtuoso Italian Vocal Music). The largest portion of the music here recorded is, in fact, by the otherwise scarcely known Rigatti, who was a priest during Monteverdi's tenure at St. Mark's and used to sing in the choir there. His psalms, his "Magnificat" and his motet "Salve Regina" fill no less than 35 minutes of this set, which, at 95 minutes, is anything but crammed full. In these pieces you get to hear the majestic fullness of sound commonly associated with St. Mark's at this period, and in the "Magnificat" on the second CD you hear an accompaniment with low-voiced sackbuts or trombones which can really shake the building! But in my opinion the most beautiful pieces on this recording are the two delightful motets by Alessandro Grandi, who died all too early in 1630 and whose music deserves to be better known - musicologists have been known to express the suspicion that Monteverdi himself regarded Grandi as a rival and for that reason obstructed his career.

The performance by McCreesh's ensembles is as sovereign as one is used to from this famous troupe; but the listener needs to take to heart what McCreesh himself writes in the notes: "The chamber music quality of so much of the repertoire suggests that the aim was to tickle the ears of the Doge and the dignitaries within the Choir area, rather than fill the basilica with washes of sound." The sound engineer has tried to capture the spatial aspects of the performance, which in its turn means that the voices often sound somewhat pale in comparison with the instruments. Listening on ear-speakers I noticed that the recording was not completely hiss-free.
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