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In 1610, Monteverdi gave his Vespers for the Virgin in Mantua before conquering the Basilica of Saint Mark in Venice. This was the first great sacred masterpiece of the Baroque. Following the brilliant Orfeo (1607), the Vespers borrow its opening fanfare and positioned Monteverdi as the leading composer of his time.
J. E. Gardiner founded the Monteverdi Choir, one of the world’s finest choruses, specifically for this work, which he conducted for the first time in 1964 and subsequently recorded twice. With the present recording, where the image ideally accompanies the music, J. E. Gardiner wanted to make more perceptible the spatialisation that characterized Venetian music, by using the specific architecture and different levels of the Chapelle Royale at Versailles.