Almost a year has elapsed since the last issue in this series, but the long wait has been worth it. With this fourth volume, this Monterverdi cycle is well on its way towards becoming the quintessential representation of his complete sacred works on disc. As in the previous releases, the music on this CD is another fine example of Monteverdi's prowess for stirring melodies, and his widely contrasted use of voices and instruments is further proof of his exceptional genius.
This programme is made up of twelve motets with the 'Laetatus sum' and the 'Dixit Dominus' particularly exuberant. Monteverdi's fertile imagination never allowed him to fall into the rhetoric or mediocre and his works, whether sacred or secular, are always imbued with a certain swagger that is crisp and buoyant.
The works on this disc are certainly no exception, and with Robert King's light hearted approach, their bouncy rhythms come through in all their effervescent excitement. The nine singers are among the best interpreters of this repertoire and their full-blooded performances bring out most of the lyrical and dramatic aspects of these pieces.
The way Robert King coaxes his forces is truly admirable and his conducting is so engrossingly involving that the climaxes are all thrillingly done. The quiet passages have an exquisite beauty that melts the heart and soothes the mind. Recorded in opulent sound, this issue is also available in the SACD medium. Looking fervently forward to Volume 5.
Copyright © 2006, Gerald Fenech