In the realm of choral music, there are few works more important or stunningly gorgeous than Claudio Monteverdi's Vespers 1610. Up until this point, choral music was strictly rooted in the tradition of divided choirs and cantus firmus, or fixed song, a cappella polyphony. But Monteverdi, the great genius and experimenter, introduced audiences to a whole new world with the Vespers. While carefully respecting the established tradition, he also embraced the “new” musical style of the new 17th century that featured a figured bass line, combinations of voices and instruments, operatic solo singing and even dance forms dangerously secular in nature. The result was unlike anything that had been heard in the realm of sacred music—a glorious explosion of sound that, with soaring orchestration; spirited motets, duets and other vocal combos; grand operatic solos; and not one but two Magnificats, went way beyond the simple evening prayers of the Catholic Church. This week, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Grant Gershon, director, performs the Vespers 1610 with Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra. What better way to usher in the holiday season? At Walt Disney Hall, 111 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Sun., Nov. 18, 7pm; $39-$119. (213) 972-7282,

Sat., Nov. 17, 7 p.m., 2012

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