Monteverdi, “Deposuit potentes” (He hath put down the mighty)



The first track is from the soundtrack to the French director Robert Bresson’s film Mouchette (1967). Viewing this film, at the long gone Elgin Theater on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea, I first became aware of Monteverdi. A similar thing has happened to me with literature, for example: when I first read a few paragraphs from The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft by George Gissing, an author I had barley heard of, in a course at Columbia University.

The second track is from a recording of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 by the Sixteen, an English choral group.

The third track is from a recording of a live performance by Tenet Vocal Artists of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 which I attended in January 2020 at St. Jean Baptiste Church in New York City.

You can also view on YouTube at


Deposuit potentes de sede,
Et exaltavit humiles

He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

— Luke 1:52


Pathos, beauty, intense spirituality.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   September 2020; revised March 2022

Leave a Reply