About 270 Atlanta concertgoers were treated to a
very significant and impressive early music program.
The Monteverdi Vespers of the Blessed Virgin (1610)
was performed by the New Trinity Baroque Ensemble
on March 9th at St. Jude's and March 10th at Peachtree
Christian Church in Atlanta. Both performances were
conducted by Predrag Gosta. Among the guest artists
were Leif Aruhn-Solen, tenor (Sweden); Michael Fields,
chitarrone (England); James Gallagher, baroque violin
(Dallas, TX); and the Washington Cornett and Sackbutt
Ensemble (Washington, DC).
Monteverdi Vespro Della Beata Vergine is one of Monteverdi's
most glorious works and is thought by some to be one
of the most significant pieces ever composed - right
along with Handel's Messiah. The rich melodies
were superbly performed by 21 voices and 12 instruments,
including baroque violins, baroque cello, harpsichord,
chitarrone, organ, recorders, three cornettos, and
three sackbutts. The music was hauntingly beautiful,
and sensitively conducted and performed. The voices
and choir sang so perfectly in tune that many harmonic
overtones thrilled the ear.
At the Peachtree Christian Church, the size of the
sanctuary provided the better acoustics. Many of the
pieces were inspiring. One of the most electric was
the Concert (Motet) Audi coelum. The solo tenor (Leif
Aruhn-Solen) stood in the high pulpit, while the other
tenor (Patrick Hagan) sang the echo part in the back
balcony. The choir was at the altar. The clear
tone of the Mr. Aruhn-Solen rang out over the audience
while Mr. Hagan's responses echoes from the back.
After the piece, you could hear a pin drop in the
sanctuary as the audience seemed stunned for several
It was a marvelous performance by 33 outstanding
musicians. Both performances received a standing ovation.
Mr. Gosta is to be congratulated for bringing this
music and these performers together.
of the comments from other audience members:
Glen Middleton: "This is the most outstanding
musical performance that I have heard in Atlanta since
I came here in 1976 and was the only time that
Monteverdi has been performed on original instruments
Paul Miller: "This is the best cornetto playing
that I have ever heard in a live performance."
John Hillenbrand: "This is one of the best
early music performances this year."
by Joyce Mortison; Reprinted from THE PIPELINE (May
2002) - Newsletter of the American Recorder Society.
Used with permission.
The Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 (3-9-2002, Church
of St. Jude)
(click over the photo to see it in its full size)
listen to the opening solo & chorus from our
March performance of the Vespers of 1610, by Claudio
Monteverdi (Deus in adiutorium / Domine ad adiuvandum),