"Vespro solenne per la festività di San Marco"
In co-operation with the RIAS Kammerchor
Since their debut in 1984, the Concerto Italiano, founded by Rinaldo Alessandrini, has caused a sensation with its pioneering interpretations, particularly of Italian baroque music. In collaboration with the RIAS Kammerchor, the musicians are applying themselves with Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespro Solenne per la festività di San Marco to a reconstructed vespers service compiled of psalms and antiphons from the collection published in 1641, Selva morale e spirituale – in the way it may have been performed by Monteverdi in the scope of a solemn vespers service in San Marco (at that time, vespers were hardly ever conceived as closed works).
The Dutch writer Constantijn Huygens may have heard something similar when he stayed in Venice in 1620 with a diplomatic delegation of the “Dutch General States”: “On 24 June, the feast day of St. John the Baptist, they led me to the vespers [...] where I experienced music which was more skilful than anything I will ever hear in my life. Its composer, the very famous Claudio di Monteverde, maestro di capella of San Marco, performed it on this occasion and conducted it himself, accompanied by four theorbos, two cornetti, two bassoons, two violins, a bass viol of a tremendous scale, an organ and other instruments – all equally well mastered and played – not to mention the 10 or 12 singers. I was carried away by pleasure.”