Related Reviews
Gramophone
'With so many Vespers recordings out there, this one joins the ranks of those with both a character of its own and something to say.'
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De Standaard
4 Stars
'Een koortje van solostemmen, een secuur musicerend orkestje en uitgekiende tempo's houden elk detail tegen het licht.'
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BBC Radio Scotland 'Classics Unwrapped'
'Good line up including the wonderful baritone Peter Harvey whose voice and intelligence shines through in everything he does.'
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Klassieke Zaken
'Butt takes the time to give Monteverdi's emotional power its full weight, well over four centuries after the emergence of this amazing music.'
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BBC Music Magazine
4½ Stars
Performance 5 / Recording 4: 'This compelling and insightful album is an outstanding contribution to Monteverdi's 450th anniversary... Particularly effective is the coloristic sonority of the organ which, by employing the Hauptwerk system, reproduces the sound of an early Venetian instrument.'
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Opus Klassiek
'This new recording of the Vespers may therefore be considered as one of the best of its kind'.
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Classic FM
Album of the Week: 'If you want some Monteverdi in your life, you can’t do better than this new recording...'
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The Observer
4 Stars
'...the recording sounds fresh and clear...'
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The Mail on Sunday 'Event Magazine'
5 Stars
'Any recording by Butt is an event. And this one, recorded with a small, hand-picked choir of ten voices, is special even by his elevated standards.'
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BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'
'...the standard of solo singing is outstanding, beautifully ornamented.'
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Europadisc
Disc of the Week: '... this endlessly absorbing, beautifully presented and intensely focused performance from Butt and his forces ticks all the right boxes.'
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Financial Times
4 Stars
'...a virtuoso display of individual talents.'
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The Sunday Times
'...a magnificent choral sound...'
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Dunedin Consort - Monteverdi: Vespers 1610 - All Music


28 September 2017
All Music
Blair Sanderson
4½ Stars

Following a critically acclaimed performance at the Lammermuir Festival in September, 2016, John Butt and the Dunedin Consort recorded Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespro dell Beata Vergine at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh in March, 2017. Of the many new releases and reissues of this Baroque masterpiece that marked celebrations of Monteverdi’s 450th anniversary, this luminous rendition of the 1610 Vespers is one of the most exciting and satisfying for its virtuosity and brilliance. Presented with ten vocalists -- sopranos Joanne Lunn and Esther Brazil, altos Amy Lyddon and Rory McCleery, tenors Joshua Ellicott, Matthew Long, Nicholas Mulroy, and Peter Harris, and basses Peter Harvey and William Gaunt -- the choral textures are a bit thinner and more exposed than one might expect or want, but considering the complexity of Monteverdi’s counterpoint, the leaner choir proves agile, if not as impressive as the large choirs in some mainstream performances. The period instruments of His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts give a rousing and colorful accompaniment, and the higher tuning (A = 466Hz) gives the group a brighter tone than one typically encounters, even in historically informed performances. The recording captures the performers with close-up presence, though there is sufficient resonance in the church setting to give the ensemble a radiant glow.
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