reviewed by Paula Citron
Vespers of 1610
Composed by Claudio Monteverdi
Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 is one of the world’s great choral works. The Toronto Consort performance under the direction of David Fallis showed off both Monteverdi’s diamond brilliance and his heart-felt piety.
Fallis assembled 12 singers and 18 musicians, all of them early music soloists in their own right. Joining the Canadian cast was the excellent British tenor Charles Daniels who has made early music his own. There was some breathiness in some of the higher passages, but that was dispelled by Daniels expressive delivery. When he sang the “Gloria patri” that dominates the finale of the Magnificat, the angels were listening.
The obvious enjoyment of the Vespers is the luxurious nuance which Fallis and his forces mined like a treasure trove. Theirs was not one solid wall of music. The text was geared to the score and Toronto Consort took us on a sacred journey. For the audience, it was an altered, transcendental state.
The concert was one of the finest of the season.