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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Monteverdi : Vespro della Beata Vergine (DAW50)
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on 1 October 2009
I already owned two other versions of the Vespers - the John Eliot Gardiner and Andrew Parrott recordings. Eliot Gardiner's version I like a lot. It's very clean and fresh. Parrott's version is too spartan for me. Possibly historically accurate but light on the emotional aspect of the music.

This version was very close to the version I heard originally back in 1970 which can still be found on second hand vinyl. Full of life, this is the big sound version of the Vespers. Full of music and full of emotion it's a wonderful experience and I can't recommend it too highly.
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on 22 December 2010
It was through this recording that I came to appreciate this marvellous work. It appeared when there were few others around. I notice that the conductor Jürgen Jürgens isn't credited any more!

In my opinion, it has been surpassed by later recordings, most notably by the marvellous Gardiner "live" Archiv recording in San Marco, which is unbeatable for drama. The other slightly disturbing thing about this performance in retrospect is that they rearranged the parts out of Monteverdi's written order of performance. All more recent performances adhere to the written order. And they found the need to include antiphons, where the original has none (it is possible that there would have been antiphons, changed to suit the particular occasion, but they're not in the original). Having said that, the set does have its highlights, such as the best Sonata Sopra Sancta Maria (with its piping cornettos) of any version I've ever heard.

So, not the best version out there, but still worth having.
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