After twenty years of service, the middle-aged Monteverdi was unhappy in his position at the court in Mantua. In search of a new position, to demonstrate his artistic talents, Monteverdi wrote Vespro della Beata Vergine. The resulting Vespers was so spectacular that Monteverdi was given the music director position at St. Mark's in Venice, the premier church in Italy.
A towering masterpiece for brass sextet, chamber orchestra, and voices, Vespro della Beata Vergine is at once intimate and resplendent, devotional and theatrical, pious and sensual. At Portland Bach Experience, hear the work as Monteverdi imagined it: sung one-on-a-part and performed on period instruments.