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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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BBC Proms 2010: Venice and Vespers

Vincent Dumestre. Photo credit: Per Buhre

Monteverdi's collection of sacred music known as the Vespers of 1610 was published 400 years ago.

To mark the anniversary, Sir John Eliot Gardiner – who made his Proms debut with this work in 1968 – places musicians from the Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and His Majesty's Sagbutts and Cornetts all around the Royal Albert Hall, recreating the spatial possibilities of St Mark's Basilica in Venice for the penultimate night of the Proms season (10 September). It is broadcast on BBC Four.

The Vespers anniversary has inspired a Venice strand this season, including an Italian day (6 September), which takes in a theatrical Proms Chamber Music programme designed to evoke the spirit of 17th-century Venice from Le Poème Harmonique with Vincent Dumestre, and a Late Night Prom exploring the music of Vivaldi, who was born in Venice and worked there most of his life.

There's also a Venetian-themed Late Night from the BBC Singers and London Sinfonietta under David Atherton focusing on works by Stravinsky, first performed in Venice, including Threni (4 August).

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