Paul Halley directs the University of King's College Chapel Choir, 14-piece Baroque band, Hélène Brunet (soprano), Janelle Lucyk (soprano), Sarah Myatt (alto), Philippe Gagné (tenor),
Nils Brown (tenor), Brett Polegato (bass), and the boy sopranos of Capella Regalis Men & Boys Choir in a performance
of works from Monteverdi's 'Selva morale e spirituale'.
After smash-hit performances in 2016 of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, the Chapel Choir is turning once more to the Italian composer to present works from his 1640-41 collection, Selva morale e spirituale. Translated as ‘a moral and spiritual forest’, the Selva is Monteverdi’s own retrospective of his sacred compositions, published at the end of his 30-year run as maestro di cappella at the Basilica of San Marco in Venice (and not long before his death in 1643). The position of maestro at San Marco would have been the most coveted church music position in all of Europe at the time. The works included in the Selva are scored for a range of forces from one voice and continuo to triple choir with 12 instrumentalists and continuo, and exhibit not only Monteverdi’s pioneering style in the then-emerging world of Baroque music, but his compositional range for a great variety of liturgical settings over many years. The Vespers and the Selva may be seen as two bookends for Monteverdi’s significant output of sacred music, with the Vespers his first major liturgical piece, composed just prior to his move to Venice, and the Selva a stirring culmination of the brilliant musician’s career.