On their seventh release for Telarc, Martin Pearlman and the Boston Baroque, period instruments orchestra and chorus, are heard in the opulent Vespro della Beata Vergine (Vespers of the Blessed Virgin) by Monteverdi. Included in the three-CD set is a thirty-minute discussion disc by Pearlman, in which he gives an overview of the historical background, the instrumentation, and the complexities of the scoring and musical styles in this great work, interspersed with musical examples taken from the recording. The ensemble's most recent release for Telarc was of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Upcoming plans include a recording of American Moravian music, to be released in 1998. Monteverdi's Vespers first appeared in print in 1610, part of a large collection of church music that was dedicated to Pope Paul V. At that time, Monteverdi was still employed at the court of Duke Vincenzo in Mantua. But in 1613, he became the maestro di cappella at the Basilica of St. Mark's in Venice, a position he retained for the rest of his life. There are many issues of orchestration and assignment of vocal parts that are left unspecified in the score, and must be decided by the conductor. The texts that Monteverdi set in the Vespers are all appropriate for feast days in the Catholic Church year dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Pearlman has chosen to perform the piece as if it were a complete liturgical service, and has therefore inserted Gregorian chants from the Feast of the Assumption (a major Marian feast day) before each of the psalms and the final Magnificat.