Vespro Breve (Francesco Durante)
- I. Dixit Dominus (3:15)
- II. Confitebor (4:45)
- III. Beatus vir (5:00)
- IV. Laudate pueri (2:30)
- V. Magnificat (4:45)
The music of Francesco Durante is distinguished among his Neapolitan school contemporaries in one rather significant aspect: he composed no operas. The fact that his output is comprised almost exclusively of liturgical music and pedagogical pieces illuminates Durante’s reputation as one of the most influential and revered Galant maestri.
The history and context behind this Vesper set are unknown. No manuscript survives, and there is no record of a performance of the work during the composer’s lifetime. The primary source for this edition was a non-autograph manuscript copy in the hand of Giuseppe Sigismondo, which resides in the British Library.
The manuscript offers no instructions as to the performing forces to be used, but the style and texture make it suitable for either a quartet of vocal soloists or a full choir.