Monteverdi, about the Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610), a practical introduction for conductors.      articles    home
1. The choice of the best editions of the score and the parts.
(The difference between the many editions can cause serious problems from the first rehearsal. Different barring and conflicting barnumbers will increase the confusion and waste your time).
a. The original 1610-edition (for scholars).
1610, Ricciardo Amadino, Venice,
          Vespro della Beata Vergine together with
          Missa in illo tempore.
1992, Alamire, Belgium, a facsimile edition of the
          Amadino 1610-edition, for sale.  

  The original Cantus part (1610) of the Invitatorium of the Vespro della Beata Vergine, with as you can see the famous melody from the opera Orfeo in the Cornetto & Violino da brazzo part.
b. Critical scores and parts (for critical performers)
1999, Oxford University Press, edited by Jeffrey Kurtzman.
          With a good introduction and a very handsome list of vocal and instrumental ranges.
          Performing score for sale, with a seperate Critical Appendix volume rent.
          Performing scores and instrumental parts rent.
1994, Ernst Eulenburg, edited by Jerome Roche. Study score.
          With a valuable introduction. A vocal score of the Roche-edition is published by Schott:
         1999, Schott & Co Ltd London, edited by Jerome Roche, Vocal score, orchestral material on hire.
1990, Kings Music, edited by Clifford Bartlett. Score and parts for sale.
          A flexible (clefs and transpositions) print-on-demand accurate edition.
1932, Tutte le opere di Claudio Monteverdi, XIV/1-2, edited by Gian Francesco Malipiero
         (the first complete edition since 1610 with many errors in both text and music).
c. Other less critical and corrupted/incomplete editions (for the lazy 'conductor')
1994, Novello, revised edition by Denis Stevens. Study score, orchestral material on hire.
1977, Universal Edition (UE 16646), edited by Jürgen Jürgens
1966, Möseler, 1954-Wolters-edition revised by Gottfried Wolters
1957, Universal Edition, edited by Walter Goehr.
1955, Universal Edition, 1949-Redlich-edition revised by Hans F. Redlich
1954, Möseler, edited by Gottfried Wolters
1949, Universal Edition, edited by Hans F. Redlich.
Critical discussion of the score/parts problem.
Kurzmann discusses all the editions listed above. The conclusion must be that only conductors that don't know or prefer to be lazy will use the older often corrupted scores and parts listed under c.
When I prepared my first performance of the Vespers I started with the scores that I possessed: the Roch-edition (score and vocal score). Than I discovered the Kurzmann OUP-edition and used it as conducting score. As you only can rent the OUP- vocal score the choir sang from the Schott/Roche-vocal score which is for sale. But as Eulenburg/Schott have no orchestral parts for sale the orchestra played from the Kings Music/Bartlett-edition, the only edition of orchestral parts on the market that you can buy. We expressed Clifford Bartlett our urgent wish that his edition should be compatible with the Kurzmann-score (what it proved to be, looking back I was very happy with the cooperative attitude of Clifford). Finally, I didn't buy the Bartlett-edition of the conducting score as I already possessed so many editions. Finally, the soloists had their amazing and confusing variety of editions. Next time I they will sing from the vocal score that I urged them to buy!
Performing from a score based upon the original forces the conductor to make many decissions. They will be discussed later.
2. The main reference book.
The Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 / Music, Context, Performance, Jeffrey Kurzmann, 1999, Oxford University Press.
The book discusses all the FAQ's about the Vespers and describes and discusses the sources, the controversies, and the speculations. The Bibliography is a good guide for further reading.
3. The main problems - a shortlist with the Vespro-FAQ's (will be published later on this site).