Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine

8 October 2017 - 6pm
Approximate duration: 
1h40 without intermission

In 2010, 2014 and 2015, Sir John Eliot Gardiner came to Versailles with these Vespers; he and his Monteverdi Choir are exceptional interpreters of this immense musical fresco to which they go back again and again.


In 1610, Monteverdi gave his Vespers of the Virgin in Mantua, before conquering Basilica San Marco in Venice. It is the first great masterpiece of baroque music and is still today a one of the beacons of our universal music heritage. Coming after the brilliant Orfeo (1607), from which the Vespers borrow the opening fanfare, this work positioned Monteverdi as the main composer of his time. Gardiner conducted this work for the first time in 1964 and recorded it twice. He founded the Monteverdi Choir, one of the best choirs in the world, for this masterpiece. His international reputation has led him to the greatest operas (from Mozart to Bizet or Verdi), but today he wishes to return to Monteverdi, his source.

Gardiner seeks to find in the Royal Chapel the setting in space of music that characterized Venetian music, by using the specific architecture and different levels of the Versailles chapel, where musicians and singers were placed on the first floor tribune around the organ, at the same level as the royal balcony which faced them, from where the sovereign listened to the compositions of his masters of chapel during services. The division in two choirs of Monteverdi’s work and the many musical dialogues and echo effect will find the perfect architectural setting in Versailles.

A unique event bringing together Gardiner, Monteverdi and Versailles.


John Eliot Gardiner - Monteverdi, Vespro della Beata Vergine



Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Vespro della Beata Vergine




Monteverdi Choir

English Baroque Soloists

Les Pages et les Chantres du Centre de musique baroque de Versailles (Olivier Schneebeli Artistic director)


Sir John Eliot Gardiner Conductor