Exmoor Explorations 8: Sunday 9 July 2017

Monteverdi Vespers of 1610

1400 – 2100 on SUNDAY 9 July 2017

For the last Exploration before the summer, we celebrate the 450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth with a session on his famous Vespro della beata vergine of 1610. You can find more information in the Conductor’s notes below.

More about Exmoor Explorations.


Holy Trinity, Prince Consort Road, SW7 2BA. Nearest tubes Gloucester Road or South Kensington.


£15 cash on the door including music hire, tea and coffee.

Provisional Timetable

1400 Rehearsal
1515 Short break
1530 Rehearsal
1645 Short break
1700 Rehearsal
1815 High tea (see below) and solo run-throughs
1900 Revision as required
1930 Informal performance of Vespers (friends are welcome to come and listen)
2100 Finish (NB: this one won’t finish early!)

How to Apply

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Conductor’s Notes

I imagine this work will require no introduction to most, but there’s a really interesting essay here if you’d like to do some reading. Several points need clarification, however.

We shall be using the OUP edition of the work. Like most music of the period, the Vespers are hugely edition-sensitive so either bring that edition if you have it or borrow one from us on the day.  NB: to make the piece more accessible to mixed choirs, this edition does not embody the transposition-down-by-a-fourth for which there is respectable scholarly opinion in certain movements. So there will be lots for everyone to do. And the alto parts are in your usual clef, not the octave-down treble clef tenors use. I know from painful experience that altos don’t like the octave-down thing!


All movements that can be done tutti will be done tutti as befits an EXPLORATION. There are, however, a number of florid solos that can only be done solo so please say if you’d like to try one of them!


Tea and coffee will be provided at suitable intervals. Bring your own supper, forage locally, or bring a larger dish (roughly 9-12 average portions) to share. Keep a note of all the ingredients, please!


Listen to Monteverdi Vespers (Sir John Eliot Gardiner at the Versailles Chapelle Royale in 2014 with the Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists and the Pages du Centre de musique Baroque de Versailles)