I’ve picked two performances for you of "Laudamus Te" from Vivaldis’ "Gloria" (RV589). The first is a relatively old video of a performance by Tewkesbury Abbey School. "Laudamus Te" is very typical of Vivaldi’s music with its intertwined imitative scale passages and melodic lines all of which go to make good music that gives us an idea of how skillful the young singers at the Ospedale della Pietà girls orphanage in Venice for whom Vivaldi wrote the piece must have been. It’s a remarkably passionate duet for soprano and mezzo-soprano in which the singers contend (and I mean that literally, contests between sopranos were a very popular musical entertainment in Vivaldi’s time). There are echoes as well of a bourrée, a vigorous and lively type of gavotte that had come to Italy from France by 1681. All of which is which makes the fluidity and clarity of this performance by Andrew Swait and Thomas Ooi the more laudable.
The second performance is by the sopranos Anna Simboli and Alena Dantcheva and is taken from a performance of the piece by the Concerto Italiano conducted by Rinaldo Alessandrini broadcast by Arte TV broadcast on April 5th 2010. This is a marvellous performance. The pace at which Alessandrini takes the piece is not at all unusual and closer to how it would have been performed in Vivaldi’s day. Simboli and Dantcheva not only manage to sing it perfectly but they manage to sing it in time. Which is quite a feat. Update: Video since removed from YouTube – mfi.
I’ve included the lyrics and English translation below the video should you want to follow along. Enjoy :-).
How to use the playlist: The playlist consists of a set of thumbnails and text links. Clicking any one of the thumbnails or the text links will load that performance in the large player on top which you use exactly the same as you use YouTube’s player.
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Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.
Laudamus te. Benedicimus te.
Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam.
Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.
Domine Fili unigenite, Iesu Christe.
Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris.
Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.
Quoniam tu solus Sanctus. Tu solus Dominus.
Cum Sancto Spiritu, in gloria Dei Patris.
|Glory be to God on high,|
and on earth peace, good will towards men.
We praise thee, we bless thee,
we give thanks to thee for thy great glory,
O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.
O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ;
O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.
For thou only art holy; thou only art the Lord;
with the Holy Ghost, in the glory of God the Father.