Shop > Monteverdi, Vespro della Beata Vergine (Vespers 1610)
Nicholas Mulroy, Thomas Hobbs & Thomas Raskin tenors
The Choir of New College Oxford
Directed by Edward Higginbottom
"[This is] the most striking of the four recordings which have been released since I last considered the Vespers for 'Building a Library' back in 2007. Edward Higginbottom draws wonderfully elegant and naturally expressive singing from his choir at New College, Oxford. This is the New College sound, and it serves the music very well indeed. The instrumental playing from the Oxford-based Charivari Agréable is, frankly, gorgeous. Because Higginbottom only uses instruments where the composer specifically directs, and not for doubling the voices at whim, when they finally get their moment in the Magnificat it comes as a wonderful, climactic treat.
"It seems astonishing that this brand new release – the first on the New College label – comes at mid price. And time and again I find myself coming back to this recording for its natural, unforced elegance and its finely controlled instrumental playing."
Simon Heighes, BBC Building a Library, Dec 2010
Total Playing time: 57'30" (Disc 1); 33'02'' (Disc 2); 90'32'' (Total) DDD
Recorded in St Michael's Church, Summertown, Oxford, July 2009
Released October 2010 as part of the Novum label launch
Novum: NCR 1382
"The 400th anniversary of Monteverdi's Vespers has led to a blizzard of different performances. One of the most interesting can be heard on the inaugural CD of a label called Novum ... by the choir of New College, Oxford,. Assisted by a period-instrument group called Charivari Agréable, the young boys who make up this choir produce a wonderfully fresh sound: the rigorous daily training they receive from the age of eight puts them in the forefront of a tradition going back centuries, whose survival into this irreligious age is a miracle in itself."
Michael Church, The Independent, 1 October 2010