By JAMES R. OESTREICH
DECEMBER 31, 2017
At any rate, the point was driven home the next night by the fresh, strong singing of Tenet. The Green Mountain Project, named for Monteverdi, has made a calling card of his great 1610 Vespers, one performance better than the last. Here it turned to his “Selva Morale e Spirituale” (“Spiritual and Moral Forest”), a large collection of sacred music published late in his life.
The first half presented six singers, led by the soprano Jolle Greenleaf, in works of moderate scale. The second separated the vocalists into duets and soloists before reassembling them for a big, magnificent finale, “Beatus Vir.” Especially notable in the smaller works were Ms. Greenleaf and her usual partner, the soprano Molly Quinn, in “Iste Confessor”; and the lone bass, John Taylor Ward, in “Ab Aeterno Ordinata Sum,” a showpiece that took him to the very bottom of his range.
Tenet’s instrumentalists broke up the program with substantial works by Nicolò Corradini, Giovanni Gabrieli and Giovanni Battista Fontana, allowing the two superb violinists, Aisslinn Nosky and Beth Wenstrom, to do some duetting of their own. In Gabrieli’s “Sonata XXI con Tre Violini,” the two excellent cornetto players, Alexandra Opsahl and Kiri Tollaksen, were joined by a third, Bruce Dickey, a renowned American virtuoso said to be visiting from his home in Italy.
But Monteverdi was clearly the star, exceedingly well served. Thus ended his 450th-anniversary year in New York.