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Vigilate! [Monteverdi Choir, John Elliot Gardner] [SDG: SDG720]

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Frequently Bought Together

Vigilate! [Monteverdi Choir, John Elliot Gardner] [SDG: SDG720] + The Tudors At Prayer + The Blossoming Vine [The Sixteen, Eamonn Dougan] [Coro: COR16123]
Price For All Three: £41.58

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Product details

  • Conductor: John Elliot Gardner
  • Composer: Byrd, Tallis, Morley, Philips, White, et al.
  • Audio CD (28 April 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sdg
  • ASIN: B00J587LG4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,773 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.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Ecce vicit Leo 2:24£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Christe qui lux es dies 3:37£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Suscipe quaeso10:09Album Only
Listen  4. O nata lux de lumine 1:46£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Liber secundus sacrarum cantionum (Cantiones sacrae): Laudibus in sanctis 4:03£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Ne irascaris, Domine: Civitas sancti tui 5:27£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Turn our captivity, O Lord 4:17£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. The Great Service: Nunc dimittis 8:47Album Only
Listen  9. Vigilate 4:06£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Nolo mortem peccatoris 2:50£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Lamentations (for 6 voices)19:28Album Only
Listen12. Justorum animae 3:21£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom 7:17£0.59  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

This album brings together six English composers whose combined careers span more than a century Byrd, Tallis, Morley, Philips, White and Tomkins.

The title Vigilate! (Be watchful!) epitomises the clandestine character of recusant music-making in Elizabethan England, by undercover Catholic composers of the time.

The pieces on this recording display the richly imaginative, devout and diverse responses ofmusical craftsmen who worked with unfailing creativity in difficult times.

The album comes in our usual casebook packaging and contains a 36 pages booklet with notes by Kerry McCarthy and texts in German, English and French.

In March 2014, the Monteverdi Choir will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary.


As John Eliot Gardiner's superb choir celebrates its half-century, this wide-ranging collection of English polyphony conjures up a time of political dissension and religious turmoil. As Kerry McCarthy's excellent note suggests, the composers responded with "unfailing creativity", from the sustained grief of Robert White's Lamentations to the bitter reflections of betrayal in Byrd's Civitas sancti tui. Gardiner says he has known some of these pieces since childhood and he brings an exceptional intensity and power to them, while adding some that are less well-known: Tomkins's Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, is a forgotten masterpiece. Do difficult times create great music? ***** --Observer, 25/5/14

A performance with a telling theatrical and atmospheric thread . --Gramophone, June'14

The major interest of these impressive performances is that they reflect the interpretative approaches developed by John Elliot Gardner over decades of experience in many types of music. Performance ***** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine, Aug'14

It is rare nowadays for the Monteverdi choir to venture as early as the English Renaissance; and it is equally rare to hear a motet recital of this period sung by an ensemble that is audibly a mixed choir with a forceful personality at the helm. This is potentially a very positive attribute; at any rate it makes a change from the conformity of interpretation observable in this repertory in particular. --Gramophone, Aug'14

This is a glorious testament not just to a golden age in English music but to an English choir celebrating its own golden jubilee. --IRR, November '14

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John P on 26 Jun 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD has some of the most sublime singing on you are ever likely to hear. The softer and slower pieces are to be luxuriated in as one can hear all the parts; the phrasing is subtle; the words are as clear as possible; and the acoustic/recording standard is up to Mike Hatch’s usual phenomenal standard. Indeed you will hear much that you usually only hear when you sing one of the inner parts in performance.
There is one word of caution however. As often happens with Gardiner, speeds can be excessive, and Philips 'Ecce vicit Leo' which opens the CD is a case in point. This takes 2:24 mins as against a more conventional 3:20 – a speed and clarity which has you marvelling at the choir’s virtuosity, rather the piece’s content. This crispness works well though in Byrd’s 'Laudibus in sanctis' where the tempi and rhythmic contrasts in each section are vividly brought out in a way rarely heard from other choirs. Some people will find some of the phrasing rather overdone, but I prefer this to the usual understated offerings.
Yes there are some ‘old favourites’ on this CD, but the approach is so refreshing I have found myself listening to it many times and still hearing new facets. And the White 'Lametations' are a delightful discovery (to me at least).
MVC are my favourite choir (I am biased as I used to sing with them many decades ago!), and this CD is well up with their best performances on the Santiago recordings (et al).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By berry wiersum on 18 May 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
You look at the list of pieces and think: 'Hmmm, most of these I know and have in several versions...' But then you start listening and realise it's stunning singing. Tallis' haunting Suscipe Quaeso Domine positively floats on a bed of velvet, but then there is a fantastic contrast in the theatrical performance of Byrd's
Laud imbues in Sanctis. Eliot Gardner doesn't spare the horses, but the clarity is there nevertheless: you hear everything Byrd wrote down and the choir makes good use of strong consonant diction to give the piece an irresistible excitement. A little later comes the gem of the programme: Byrd's Nunc Dimittis. It's difficult to find words to describe the beauty of this reflective song of resignation, or indeed the outstanding performance. Better just go and buy the CD!
In White's Lamentations, which certainly gives the more famous Tallis setting a run for its money, Eliot Gardner takes the same approach as he did with Lobo's Lamentations: extreme calm and slow tempi for the initial letters to each verse and then enjoying the discords in the verses. Gorgeous. There's more, plenty more. Go on, Monteverdians, do another one like this, please.
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Format: Audio CD
Nice CD but Stile Antico has more body and verve on the interpretation.



A five stars CD (S.Antico)

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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Philoctetes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 April 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Vigilate! English polyphony in dangerous times.

It's well named and quite apt, given that Britain's status as a Christian country has been robustly rejected by humanists writing in the newspapers, thanks to the PM's latest expression of support for religion. I haven't found that a lack of religion goes hand in hand with courtesy or tolerance; one of the most interesting themes in the Irish film Calvary is the want of respect or consideration for others accompanying a lack of faith in the church and in God. A well earned contempt there, but still saddening (you have to see the film - it's very powerful). A lack of faith can so often mean a lack of confidence; indeed, as a wise Irish fellow once said, "Anybody who has totally given up on the idea of God or the Devil has never been properly kissed or flown on Ryanair with a hangover."

JEG and the Monteverdians made a personal selection of Elizabethan Latin settings by Tallis, Byrd, etc, after long engagement with this repertoire; the relative brevity of their choices and the fact that this is music written at a time of flux in the English church, creates variety and helps to maintain interest throughout the 78min programme.

Once again, this is a high quality SDG production, photos, essays, print and everything. May you live to experience the art of interesting times.

(And don't forget to buy Pilgrimage to Santiago, also on SDG.)
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