I can never get enough of the sacred music of Claudio Monteverdi. Last week I heard the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys sing Monteverdi’s Messa da capella and look forward to the same choir singing the Vespro della beata Vergine on March 19th.
Another splendid opportunity to hear some of Monteverdi’s spectacular sacred music is being served up by Tenet, a group of some of New York’s finest singers and instrumentalists, on February 13th at Saint Ignatius of Antioch Episcopal Church.
Tenet will be performing selections from Monteverdi’s epochal Selva morale e spirituale. If you don’t know this music your life has been all the poorer. In 1640 or so, Monteverdi compiled a massive collection of sacred works that he composed during his three decade tenure as maestro di cappella at San Marco in Venice. The collection was published in 1641 in Venice in ten partbooks containing no fewer than 37 works for various groups of voices and instruments. There are virtuoso solo motets, concertante psalms and polyphonic mass movements composed in the old style. This was the last collection of works published in Monteverdi’s lifetime and no other composer in 1640 could dip into such a deep bag of musical magic tricks.
I don’t know what Tenet has scheduled for the concert but if you love Monteverdi’s madrigals or Vespro della beata Vergine, you are going to be blown away by the Selva.
For more information about the Selva concert, visit Tenet
For more information about the Vespers concert, visit Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue
Here’s a taste of some of the music from Selva morale e spirituale
Confitebor primo performed by Ensemble Elyma
Laudate Dominum in sanctis eius performed by Philippe Jaroussky
Dixit Dominus II performed by Ensemble Elyma
Pianto della Madonna performed by Agnès Mellon