About HCS: Monteverdi Vespers of 1610

Hereford Choral Society
Geraint Bowen conductor

It has been said that Claudio Monteverdi was the greatest composer of the early baroque period and that his Vespers of 1610 (Vespro della Beata Vergine) was composed as his calling card for ‘the big job’, maestro di cappella of St Mark’s in Venice, the position to which he was appointed in 1613.

Since then the work has gradually become a mainstay of the choral repertoire, perhaps the earliest large-scale piece for which this can be said and, in so doing, has become Monteverdi’s legacy.

Monteverdi’s Vespers creates a musical journey, from the mystical to the prayerful, from the happy and exultant to the angry and, surprisingly for a fundamentally liturgical work, even the sensual.

Often heard performed by smaller forces, this concert will be a chance to hear the work performed on a much larger scale and it doesn’t take too much thought to imagine the thrilling impact of the famous opening D-major chord chanted by some 150 voices over the triumphant renaissance fanfare.