LEADING choir and period-instrument ensemble Armonico Consort is celebrating the 450th anniversary of the birth of Claudio Monteverdi with a five-day tour of the famous Vespers of 1610 which stops off in town later this month.
More than 400 years old, this astounding work is full of surprises, from serene beauty to dramatic choral outbursts, colourful instrumental writing to vocal acrobatics.
Theatrical effects are created by positioning singers in different locations within the venues and it also features unusual early instruments including the cornett (an early wind instrument) and sackbut (forerunner of the modern trombone), played by members of the English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble.
This ground-breaking work is particularly special to Armonico Consort’s artistic director, Christopher Monks.
“The Vespers of 1610 was the work that turned my musical life upside-down when I first heard and studied it at the age of 16,” he said.
“I was immersed into a world of extraordinary colour from instruments I had never heard of and the most daring vocal acrobatics ever written for tenors, even to this day, to the concept of having performers literally anywhere in the building!”
Born in Cremona, Italy, in May 1567, Monteverdi is a key musical figure sitting at the junction between two great musical periods, the Renaissance and Baroque.
He was always looking for new ways to compose, push boundaries and find new and exciting ways to create harmony, rhythm and dramatic effect in his music.
The 1610 Vespers were thought to have been used by Monteverdi in a bid to gain himself a prestigious new role at St Mark’s Venice.
Armonico Consort performs Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 at Malvern Theatres on Saturday, September 23.
To book tickets, call the Box Office on 01684 892277 or visit www.malvern-theatres.co.uk.