Issued in 1610, Claudio Monteverdi’s famous work Vespro della Beata Vergine conveys the full essence of the composer’s genius. But is there only one “classical” way of interpreting these vespers?

Simon-Pierre Bestion, the artistic director of La Tempête, puts this masterpiece against a particularly colourful background. It is La Serenissima, or the Republic of Venice – a maritime and commercial power throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. As an important port and economic hub, the city also became a centre for the exchange of ideas and traditions and a meeting point of all cultures of the Mediterranean. The outstandingly rich history of Venice, from which Bestion takes inspiration, influences also the choice of musical ornamentation or instrumentation: we can hear not only characteristic sounds of 17th-century Western music, such as traverso flutes or theorbo, but also serpent, shofar or chirattone. In these Vespers, we will find the influences of Corsican singing traditions and Middle Eastern music, or fauxbourdon-based psalms from an anonymous manuscript that is kept in the French city of Carpentras. Even though such an interpretation of Monteverdi’s famous work may seem unorthodox or even exotic, the suggestive vision of Simon-Pierre Bestion and La Tempête is worth following: maybe it reflects faithfully the musical practice of multicultural 17th-century Venice? 

The concert will be preceded by a meeting from the Listening Keys cycle. 



Amélie Raison – soprano 

Brenda Poupard – alto 

François Joron – tenor  

Eugénie de Mey – alto (Gregorian chant) 

Axelle Verner – alto 

Edouard Monjanel – tenor (Duo Seraphim)  

René Ramos Premier – bass-baritone 

Florent Martin – bass 

La Tempête  

Simon-Pierre Bestion – idea, arrangements, conductor 


Marianne Pelcerf – light direction  



Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643) 

Vespro della Beata Vergine SV 206 (1610) 


  • Fauxbourdon: Domine ad adjuvandum me 
  • Toccata & Domine ad adjuvandum me 
  • Antiphon: Assumpta est Maria 
  • Fauxbourdon: Dixit Dominus 
  • Dixit Dominus 
  • Nigra sum  
  • Antiphon: Diffusa est gratia  
  • Laudate pueri  
  • Pulchra es  
  • Antiphon: Tota pulchra es  
  • Fauxbourdon: Laetatus sum  
  • Laetatus sum  
  • Duo Seraphim  
  • Antiphon: Recordare Virgo Mater  
  • Nisi Dominus  
  • Audi caelum 
  • Antiphon: Felix es sacra Virgo  
  • Fauxbourdon: Lauda, Jerusalem  
  • Lauda, Jerusalem  
  • Sonata sopra Sancta Maria  
  • Ave maris stella  
  • Magnificat 
  • Magnificat: Et exultavit  
  • Magnificat: Quia respexit 
  • Magnificat: Quia fecit  
  • Magnificat: Et misericordia  
  • Magnificat: Fecit potentiam  
  • Magnificat: Deposuit  
  • Magnificat: Esurientes  
  • Magnificat: Suscepit Israel  
  • Magnificat: Sicut locutus  
  • Magnificat: Gloria Patri  
  • Magnificat: Sicut erat 


LISTENING KEYS: Monteverdi’s early years 

31 March 2024, Easter Sunday | 4.15 pm | ICE Kraków Congress Centre, ul. Konopnickiej 17 

Delving into deeper layers of music is often seen as the key to achieving a full understanding of this art, which is usually perceived intuitively. In order to fully understand its subtleties, it is crucial that the listener hones their listening skills and seeks the right words to describe their experiences and impressions. This is the aim of the Listening Keys – a series of meetings with a musician, who will equip the audience with these very tools. The participants will have an opportunity to explore selected pieces in depth, as well as to discover the hidden beauty and context of the musical stories woven by the most outstanding composers of past eras. 

During the meeting, the participants will embark on a journey through the early years of Claudio Monteverdi’s career as a composer, highlighting the evolution of his style and discovering all the things, which inspired him to create his revolutionary scores at the twilight of the Renaissance and the dawn of the Baroque. 


Aleksander Mocek

Entry with a ticket to the Grands Concerts concert on the same day.