The psalms that make up the vespers recorded here may or may not have been written to form a cycle - impossible to know, as the dates of most of them are uncertain - but they are united by their employment of plainchant melody as the basis of composition, accompaniment by organ/basso continuo, and serene mix of stile antico (written in the high Renaissance style of Palestrina) and stile moderno (written n a style reflecting newer musical developments) elements. With dissonant touches in unexpected places, Scarlatti injects something altogether odder and darker even into movements written in the most traditional style. Following the psalms are settings of the hymn Ave Maris Stella and the canticle Magnificat (this Magnificat was recorded earlier by Alessandrini, who used one voice per part; van der Kamp uses three). In most of the pieces, subtle shades of the stile antico predominate, which makes all the more vibrant and luminous those moments when, betraying the works' late Baroque provenance, a soloist breaks free of the polyphonic weight of the chorus. Whether mellifluously differentiating themselves in solos or seamlessly flowing together in the tutti sections, the vocalists are first-rate; one could not ask for a more sensitive performance.