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Classical 101

Monteverdi's Vespers on the Next Classical Showcase

John Eliot Gardiner conducting at Carnegie Hall in 2012.
Melanie Burford
/
For NPR
John Eliot Gardiner conducting at Carnegie Hall in 2012.

Claudio Montiverdi's Vespers of 1610 will be the next musical offering presented on the "Carnegie Hall Live" series on Classical Showcase Friday evening at 7 on Classical 101.  

John Eliot Gardiner will conduct the ensemble he created half a century ago for the purpose of performing this very work, the Monteverdi Choir, and a little later, the English Baroque Soloists.

Monteverdi's Vespers is an early Baroque masterpiece, actually a transitional work that links the Late Renaissance and Baroque eras.  It was printed in Venice in 1610 and dedicated to the Pope.  The radio broadcast, produced by WQXR in New York, is part of Carnegie Hall's "Before Bach" series, and this has to be the ultimate work in the series.

The full title of Monteverdi's masterpiece is Vespro della Beata Vergina (Vespers of the Holy Virgin), and it was intended for an evening prayer service in an Italian church in the early 1600's.  The musical settings include selections from the Book of Psalms, the New Testament Prayer of Mary, the Magnificat, sacred motets, and antiphons with chants that feature soloists, small groups of singers, or music for the entire choir.  There are instrumental sections as well, giving this large collection of pieces a rich and varied aspect.

Be transported to early 17th century Venice via Carnegie Hall for this extraordinary musical  experience on Classical Showcase Friday at 7 pm on Classical 101.