Album: Orchestra of the Age of Englightenment, Monteverdi: Vespers 1610 (Signum Classics)

"Not all orchestras are the same," runs the message on the cover, and it's true: this is the second recording in about as many weeks of Monteverdi's masterwork, following L'Arpeggiata's, and clearly the superior.

But it's more about the choral arrangement than the orchestration: rather than tackling the unusually large pitch-ranges by sharing a single part between several discrete voices, Robert Howarth has assigned the parts to more versatile voices which can follow Monteverdi's partbook outside their comfort zone, while using ingenious blends of voices to achieve a shimmering, captivating choral sound that seems to float effortlessly through the psalms.

DOWNLOAD THIS Dixit Dominus; Laetatus Sum; Laudate Pueri Sum; Nisi Dominus