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The sonic grandeur of Monteverdi’s spectacular masterpiece is expertly realized in this new recording by John Butt and Dunedin Consort. Together with the virtuoso players of His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts and a star-studded line up, including Peter Harvey, Joanne Lunn and Nicholas Mulroy, Dunedin Consort delivers the perfect recording to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth. The raison d'être for this recording was reinforced following a performance of the Vespers at the 2016 Lammermuir Festival which wowed the critics: The Herald called it ‘superbly stylish…an exhilarating performance’ whilst The Scotsman stated ‘it is hard to imagine a more exquisite, deeply felt performance’. In direct contrast to the more typically lavish stagings John Butt’s preference for single part performance brings a welcome sense of intimacy to Monteverdi’s most famous work. In eschewing the pomp and circumstance John Butt’s approach delivers a fresh, modern performance that allows the individuality of the soloists to shine.

"5* Recording of the Month: When the score calls for sheer tenderness, they fairly melt into the music, every subtlety heard and felt. And yet it's never precious. This remarkably honest reading balances the holy with the dazzling."
Stereophile, May 2018
"5* - Vital passion (especially in the concerti), fresh, compelling fervour, luminous clarity and exquisite phrasing flow from ten vocal virtuosi and brilliant instrumentalists."
Choir & Organ, March 2018
"Top 20 Classical Albums of 2017: …we got the glorious 1610 Vespers as given the Dunedin treatment for Linn: stripped back performances under John Butt that are fresh and luminous, lithe and alive."
The Herald, 13 December 2017
"5* - Given the outstandingly tuned singing and ensemble, the result is to expose Monteverdi’s often dazzling counterpoint in rare detail and clarity...a finely conceived and splendidly executed achievement."
Early Music Review, Brian Robins, 20 November 2017
"5* - This is a first-rate recording...the sounds of the Dunedin’s strings and His Majestys Sagbuts and Cornetts are exceptionally well-blended and beautifully captured in this intelligent and well-produced recording."
Early Music Review, David Stancliffe, 20 November 2017
"With so many Vespers recordings out there, this one joins the ranks of those with both a character of its own and something to say."
Gramophone, November 2017
"4.5* - Most striking is the involving intimacy of a performance that satisfies liturgical need while also remaining alert to the expectations of the contemporary listener."
Primephonic, 17 October 2017
"Performance 5 / Recording 4: This compelling and insightful album is an outstanding contribution to Monteverdi's 450th anniversary... Particularly effective is the coloristic sonority of the organ which, by employing the Hauptwerk system, reproduces the sound of an early Venetian instrument."
BBC Music Magazine, October 2017
"Good line up including the wonderful baritone Peter Harvey whose voice and intelligence shines through in everything he does."
BBC Radio Scotland 'Classics Unwrapped', 1 October 2017
"4.5* Best of 2017: ...this luminous rendition of the 1610 Vespers is one of the most exciting and satisfying for its virtuosity and brilliance."
All Music, 28 September 2017
"Album of the Week: "If you want some Monteverdi in your life, you can’t do better than this new recording...""
Classic FM, 25 September 2017
"4* ...the recording sounds fresh and clear..."
The Observer, 24 October 2017
"5* - Any recording by Butt is an event. And this one, recorded with a small, hand-picked choir of ten voices, is special even by his elevated standards."
The Mail on Sunday 'Event Magazine', 24 October 2017
"...the standard of solo singing is outstanding, beautifully ornamented."
BBC Radio 3 'Record Review', 9 September 2017
"Disc of the Week: ... this endlessly absorbing, beautifully presented and intensely focused performance from Butt and his forces ticks all the right boxes."
Europadisc, 8 September 2017
"4* - ...a virtuoso display of individual talents."
Financial Times, 8 September 2017
"...a magnificent choral sound..."
The Sunday Times, 3 September 2017
"Building A Library 'Best Recording': This is one of those rare recordings, impressive at first blush, that reveals more with every hearing...this Vespers transcends historically informed performance practice to touch the spiritual core of Monteverdi's masterwork."
BBC Music Magazine, November 2018