Handel Ode for St Cecilia’s Day — The Scotsman

The Scotsman ★★★★★

Here is a performance that draws every ounce of emotive symbolism and sublime inference from Handel’s poetically refined score. It features John Butt’s excitingly precise Dunedin Consort, whose instrumentalists are idiomatically stylish to the last

…Yet another Baroque tour de force from Butt, who has a simple knack of turning highly informed intelligence and curiosity into performances fired by spontaneous combustion.

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Handel Ode for St Cecilia’s Day — The Herald

The Herald

The work packs a powerful punch in these hands, and nowhere more so than when Bostridge combines with the chorus in the aria hymning “the double, double, double beat/Of the thund’ring drum”.

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Handel Ode for St Cecilia’s Day — Europadisc Review

Europadisc

The eight singers of the Dunedin Consort are reinforced by the twenty members of the excellent Polish Radio Choir, giving the choruses (particularly the exultant closing stanza) plenty of force combined with stylishness and clarity of enunciation. With starring roles for solo cello, trumpet, flute, lute and organ, the Dunedin instrumentalists are at the peak of their form…

Butt’s customarily erudite and detailed notes, and an exceptionally fine recording from Kraków’s Krzysztof Penderecki Hall all add up to make this an unmissable recording. And, with Cecilia-tide fast approaching, what better time to hear it?

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Monteverdi Vespers 1610 – Choir & Organ

Choir & Organ Magazine, March/April 2018 ★★★★★

Not for John Butt the nit-picking over liturgical detail that has bedevilled the study of Monteverdi’s 1610 anthology: swerving that in favour of a concert presentation, concentrating on issues at the heart of the music, he re-examines vexed questions of pitch, tempi, scoring etc with utterly credible, even revelatory results. Vital passion (especially in the concerti), fresh, compelling fervour, luminous clarity and exquisite phrasing flow from ten vocal virtuosi and brilliant instrumentalists. Even if one prefers interpretations with a ripieno choir, it must be conceded that small forces of this quality can pack a knock-out punch – che forza!

Monteverdi Vespers 1610 – Stereophile Recording of the Month

Stereophile Magazine, Recording of the Month – May 2018 ★★★★★

This performance, joyously free of eccentricities, interested only in the honest, beautiful expression of music and texts, is heavenly.

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Monteverdi Vespers recording nominated in 2018 ICMAs

We are delighted to reveal that our Monteverdi Vespers 1610 recording has been nominated in the ‘Best Baroque Vocal’ category at the 2018 International Classical Music Awards.

The Award Ceremony and Gala concert will take place on April 6 2018 in Katowice, hosted by the National Polish Radio Symphony NOSPR.

Read more about the full list of nominees here.

Monteverdi Vespers 1610 – BBC Radio 3 Record Review

BBC Radio 3 Record Review

The standard of solo singing is outstanding, beautifully ornamented.

Monteverdi Vespers 1610 – The Herald review

The Herald

Stripped back performances under John Butt that are fresh and luminous, lithe and alive.

Kate Molleson, Top 20 Classical Albums of 2017

Monteverdi Vespers 1610 – Observer review

Observer

The recording sounds fresh and clear, emphasising transparency without a big reverberant acoustic.

Full Review

Monteverdi Vespers 1610 – Financial Times review

Financial Times

Informed by a judicious weighing-up of current scholarship, Butt’s performance is often one voice to a part, giving the music an intimate feel … a virtuoso display of individual talents.

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Monteverdi Vespers 1610 – Mail on Sunday review

Mail on Sunday *****

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.

Monteverdi Vespers 1610 – Sunday Times review

Sunday Times

The Dunedin Consort’s 10 voices combine to make a magnificent choral sound.

Monteverdi Vespers 1610 – Gramophone review

Gramophone

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.

Full Review

Monteverdi Vespers 1610 – BBC Music Magazine review

BBC Music Magazine

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.

Monteverdi Vespers 1610 – Early Music Review

Early Music Review *****

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.

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.

Full Review