One might have thought Robert King had no worlds left to conquer. After all, he had already recorded all the sacred choral works of Vivaldi along with much of the choral music of Bach, Handel, Telemann, and Schütz in the '80s and '90s. But when King turned his attention to the sacred music of Monteverdi in the early years of the third millennium, he had indeed found repertoire that was terra incognito to even the most dedicated of Baroque sacred choral music listeners. In this fourth volume recorded in 2004, King and his King's Consort of singers and players take on works of deep devotion, sublime beauty, and transcendent compositional genius, works with exquisite melodies, thrilling harmonies, and dramatic forms, works making enormous demands on the skill, the stamina, and the sympathy of the performances -- and they succeed brilliantly. The nine soloists are consistently impressive, the chorus is wonderfully musical, the orchestra is strongly supportive without ever overwhelming the singers, and King is his usual inspired and inspiring self. Although listeners who don't already know the first three volumes in King's Monteverdi series are directed to check those out first, anyone who loves Baroque sacred choral music will love this disc.
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AllMusic Review by James Leonard
Laetatus sum (I), motet for 6 voices, bassoon, 2 trombones & 2 violins (from Messa a quatro voci, et Salmi), SV 198
Sanctorum meritis inclita gaudia (II), motet for tenor & 2 violins (from Selva morale e spirituale), SV 278
Beatus Vir (I), motet for 6 voices, 2 violins, 3 violas/trombones and continuo (from Seva morale e spirituale), SV 268