The Sixteen / Harry Christophers

Claudio Monteverdi: The Selva Morale e Spirituale Collection

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Between 2010 and 2013, Coro released Claudio Monteverdi's Selva Morale e Spirituale in three volumes, performed with scrupulous technique and polished sound by Harry Christophers and The Sixteen. Published in 1641, this anthology of sacred music ranks second only to Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine of 1610 as a comprehensive survey of the various styles and forms that he employed and the innovations he brought to Baroque music. The set includes single-voice motets, madrigals, instrumental pieces, mass movements, psalms, and multiple settings of the Salve Regina and the Magnificat, representing both the prima pratica of Renaissance counterpoint and the seconda pratica that comprised Monteverdi's novel techniques, which included solo vocal music set to homophonic accompaniment, the use of basso continuo, and the expansion of tonality and harmony for heightened expressions. The three albums are packaged in a cardboard slip cover, with no additional concessions to collectability, and the discs have been reissued without changes. Even so, this is a terrific package for marking the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi's birth, and The Sixteen's performances are transparent in texture and glorious in sonority, thanks in part to the high-quality recording in St. John's, Smith Square (Vol. 1) and St. Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, London (Vols. 2 and 3).

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 04:19 Amazon
2 08:08 Amazon
3 03:50 Amazon
4 05:01 Amazon
Messa à 4 da cappella (from Selva morale e spirituale)
5 02:38 Amazon
6 03:20 Amazon
7 02:33 Amazon
Messa à 4 da cappella (from Selva morale e spirituale)
8 05:52 Amazon
9 04:43 Amazon
Messa à 4 da cappella (from Selva morale e spirituale)
10 02:28 Amazon
11 01:23 Amazon
12 02:14 Amazon
13 02:08 Amazon
14 04:14 Amazon
15 01:32 Amazon
16 06:48 Amazon
17 09:10 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick