The Italian Green Mountain Boy


2010 marks the 400th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespro della beata Vergine, the most spectacularly beautiful collection of hymns, psalms and setting of the Magnificat ever written. (For those keeping score, Monteverdi actually wrote two settings of the Magnificat that can be used in the Vespers).

The Vespro della beata Vergine is probably my favorite work in the repertoire and I pay homage with this blog’s name. Monteverdi is a touchstone composer for me. I’ve written about his operas in Time Out New York, will be writing a feature about the Vespers in an upcoming issue of Early Music America magazine, and even managed to visit his tomb in the Basilica S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice.

You have to search a bit to find it

As you can tell, Monteverdi is my boy so I don’t recommend performances or recordings of his music lightly. Attention must be paid to the cleverly named Green Mountain Project, (if you speak Italian you’ll know that Monteverdi translates to “Green Mountain”), a collective of “A” list early music specialists who will be presenting what may will be the first performance of the Vespro della beata Vergine in the anniversary year. If you are in the New York city area, I strongly recommend attending.

Full details can be found at

7 Responses to “The Italian Green Mountain Boy”

  1. Hi Craig,

    Lovely to anticipate a whole year of attention to this masterpiece. Remarkably there were over 70 other collections of Vespers music published in Italy in 1610 – while most is perhaps best left gathering dust in libraries, perhaps some of the the worhties can get some reflected attention. Magnificat will be joining the legions in performing Monteverdi’s collection during the anniversary year, ours in the context of Second Vespers for Annunciation – the same liturgy that served as the framework for our Cozzolani Vespers CD a few years ago. I find every time I return to the 1610 I am astonished all over again by the ingenuity and freshness of Sr. Green Mountain!

    Warren Stewart, Magnificat

    • Craig Zeichner Says:

      Hi Warren,

      The Vespers boom in 1610 is amazing. I’m always digging up recordings looking for new settings, a lifetime quest. I loved your Cozzolani and if you remember, interviewed you for Early Music America magazine. I’m in the planning stages for a story about recordings of the Monteverdi. Would you be interested in answering some questions about the Vespers for the EMA story?

      All the best,

      Craig

  2. Hi Craig, I’d be happy to speak with you at Monteverdi. Thanks for becoming a fan of Chiara!

    Warren

  3. The Green Mountain Project Vespers was fabulous, beautifully played & sung and overflowing with joy and energy. As one of the performers told me, “We’re doing it for love, no other reason.” I’m so glad I went. Next up in New York is ARTEK’s performance on January 20.

    • Craig Zeichner Says:

      I’ve been looking forward to it for months and I managed to catch a miserable cold that laid me up in bed for the weekend. I am heartbroken.

      • You’re in luck! We are currently talking about reviving our performance after dozens of requests! I’m not sure how we’ll manage it yet, but the more people we involve in the process, the merrier! I was sad you couldn’t be with us, but we’ll find a way to make up for it.

        Let’s stay in touch!

      • Craig Zeichner Says:

        That would be great. I hope you can pull it together. If I have some room in the schedule I’d be happy to help.

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