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Vespro Della Beata Vergine: The Monteverdi Choir [DVD] [2003]


Price: £13.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Vespro Della Beata Vergine: The Monteverdi Choir [DVD] [2003] + Monteverdi: Vespers [Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610] /Monteverdi Choir & Orchestra · Gardiner
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Product details

  • Actors: The Monteverdi Choir, The English Baroque Soloists
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Spanish, Chinese
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: 3 Mar 2003
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000084HAJ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,940 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Performances from Ann Monoysios, Marinella Pennicchi, Michael Chance, Mark Tucker, Nige Robson, Sandro Naglia, Bryn Terfel, Alastair Miles, His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts, The Monteverdi Choir, The London Oratory Junior Choir and The English Baroque Soloists. Recorded in the Basilica di San Marco, Venezia.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 April 2003
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I admit it, I love this performance. I have the CD and the video and both have been played to death. The DVD brings the extra versatility of that medium, such as the ability to go to any part of the performance quickly, or to Gardiner's interesting essay on the piece. My one minor quibble is that the red shifts in which the Monteverdi choir are decked out seem to glow; they do this on the video, and I was hoping that DVD would tame it. Alas, it seems to be a flaw in the filming.
The performance remains an absolute knockout, IMHO simply the best ever recorded. Followers of the devotional school, who go for Andrew Parrott's minimalist version, hate it and will stay away. Those who like the CD will absolutely adore this, with choir, soloists and instrumentalists making full use of San Marco's acoustics and odd nooks and crannies. The orchestra (the English Baroque Soloists, with 5 players from His Majesties Cornetts and Sagbutts) is quite small - it's amazing how so few players can make such a racket in such a big space. The stars of the show is the Monteverdi Choir itself (singing from memory, without scores), which is simply stunning. You'll never hear the big choral numbers such as "Nisi Dominus" and "Lauda Jerusalem" sung with such precision and excitement - they give me goosebumps on my goosebumps. And in the middle of it all is Gardiner, obviously having a ball. Three cheers for Archiv for bringing back this brilliant record of a unique event.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Werner Schmidlin on 20 Sep 2003
This inspired version of Monteverdi's "Vespro della Beata Vergine" by John Eliot Gardiner I first saw on Christmas 1989 as a BBC simulcast. So many years later, as a DVD, its innovative rendering is as fresh as ever and the picture quality is holding up reasonably well too. For me this performance is still the best version of Monteverdi's master work.
John Eliot Gardiner researched this work thoroughly. There is no gimmickry in his rendition, but it feels as if in his mind's eye he had collaborated across the centuries with the ancient composer to produce a truly outstanding performance. We are all familiar with Gardiner's masterly use of early instruments and the careful selection and balancing of soloists voices and this performance makes full use of all of this.
The obvious choice of the location for this performance was Venice's San Marco, where Monteverdi spent much of his career. But it is far from obvious how John Eliot Gardiner used the near perfect acoustic space of this church. Every voice and instrument is placed just right to render a superb sound picture. The "Vespers" ranges from powerful full sound of orchestra and singers to intimate love songs. In support of the need of this diversity Gardiner makes the singers change positions to the various balconies and alcoves throughout the performance. This is a truly memorable performance.
I deducted one star of my ratings for the regrettable omission of the subtitles from the original BBC telecast.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. Hutchings on 24 July 2006
Having heard the CD, I was thrilled when the DVD came out.

In terms of performance, I should be amazed if anyone can better it: the soloists are expertly chosen (a young Bryn Terfyl for all those Classic FMites out there) and sing the music with great passion and sincerity. The vocalists (both concertato and ripieno) perform the work without scores - no mean thing!

The DVD itself is of excellent quality. Granted, the 1989 picture is naturally a little dated, but the photography is expertly done, capturing the real beauty of San Marco. The extras are useful, especially Sir John Eliot's 20 minute documentary , which naturally leads into the performance (following Mr Robson's feet up to the pulpit). Whenever Sir John speaks, he does so with such passion and understanding that one cannot help but believe him!

Cannot be faulted, and has proved an excellent tool in teaching students.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Angela on 20 Oct 2009
I enjoyed the original BBC broadcast, bought the VHS tape and was delighted to upgrade to DVD. Watching this marvellous performance in San Marco is a Christmas tradition in our family. When dusk arrives on Boxing Day we settle to listen to the marvellous music in a dramatic presentation of the text (performed from memory by the soloists and choirs using the pulpits and balconies in San Marco) and to see interior views and close ups of one of the glories of western civilisation. The vocal elaborations constantly delight the ear with the unexpected. It is always a moving and uplifting experience. I also own the CD and it is my favourite version of the Monteverdi Vespers of the two I own. Unmissable, especially if you love Baroque music and Venice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Helen Mosey on 6 Aug 2013
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The singing is exquisite and the setting in Venice is beautiful, and its original home. A feast for the eyes and ears.
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John Eliot Gardiner provides a beautiful insight into the history and architecture of Venice in combination with his unique skills and passion conducting his beloved Monteverdi Choir.
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