Monteverdi in Mantua: the Genius of the Vespers
BBC Documentary from St Augustine's, London (Single DVD)
'Music to delight in and to revel in, but also it's incredibly spiritual, it really does get to the heart.'
The story of a Renaissance Duke and the composer who worked for him - and how their volatile relationship would create one of the most revolutionary and beautiful collections of music ever published: The Monteverdi Vespers of 1610.
In this BBC documentary, actor and former chorister Simon Russell Beale invites us into the heart of the Vespers and the world of their creator. From Cremona where Monteverdi was born, via the sumptuous Palace of the Duke of Mantua, to Venice where the Vespers helped the composer to land his dream job. Simon is joined by Harry Christophers and his virtuoso choir 'The Sixteen', together with a hand-picked orchestra of 21 early music specialists. Filmed in the Victorian acoustic marvel of St Augustine’s Church in Kilburn, together they reveal some of the inner workings of the music with its dramatic echo effects and subtle instrumental textures. Performances include thrilling extracts from the Vespers and also some of the poignant secular madrigals that had such an influence on the structure of the work.
This DVD is also be available to purchase alongside the audio CD of Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610: