Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Gent present a highly accomplished version of one of the masterpieces of seventeenth-century sacred music. Composed shortly after L’Orfeo and dedicated to Pope Paul V, Monteverdi’s Vespers constantly surprise us with their audacity and their great emotional power. Stile antico and stile moderno combine here to wonderful effect, with Renaissance-style polyphony, accompanied monody and concertato style coexisting harmoniously. The importance accorded to the text (a key feature in Monteverdi), the virtuosity of the vocal writing and the independence of the part-writing are among the characteristics of this astonishing work. Philippe Herreweghe and Collegium Vocale Gent prove themselves to be Monteverdi interpreters of the first rank. Their lively, refreshing reading, enhanced by the presence of eight internationally renowned soloists, will ensure the success of this release.