Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Cur sagittas, cur tela RV637

This is another one of Vivaldi’s short solo motets intended to be performed before major choral items  in the Mass or at Vespers. Vivaldi pioneered these introduzioni during his first period of sacred vocal music composition at the Pietà and devoted considerable effort to extend their use. Like many of his sacred music compositions Cur…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Magnificat RV610a

There are several versions of Vivaldi’s Magnificat in G minor the earliest would most likely have been written for the Pietà and dates to some time in or around 1715. Early in the 1720s Vivaldi revisited it reworking the lower voices to make them more suitable for lower voices and adding a pair oboes for…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Beatus vir RV598

Beatus vir RV598 is the second of Vivaldi’s two settings of Psalm 111 (112) based upon a now lost original that have survived (I wrote about the other one last week see: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Beatus vir RV597 | Saturday Chorale). It’s a setting in B flat major and it’s something of an oddity because…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Beatus vir RV597

Vivaldi composed three settings of Beatus vir (Psalm 111 in the Vulgate, 112 in protestant bibles) the first – the original, dates to sometime before 1719. That setting is now lost and what we have instead are two reworkings of it. This version RV597 is the better-known of the two and was composed sometime around…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Juditha Triumphans RV644

Vivaldi wrote Juditha Triumpans or Juditha Triumphans devicta Holofernes barbarie to give its full title in 1716 for the girls of the Ospedele della Pietà. It’s the only one of his oratorios to survive and it’s a further demonstration that Vivaldi had full confidence not only in the soloists, and the chorus, but also in…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Gloria RV589

I wrote about Vivaldi’s better-known setting of the Gloria RV589 on August 21, 2011 in my posting dealing with the Thomanerchor’s superb performance of the piece and if you’re not familiar with that performance it’s well worth your while listening to (see: Sunday Playlist: Glorious Gloria | Saturday Chorale). Vival­di pro­bab­ly com­posed his Gloria in…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Gloria in excelsis Deo RV588

This is the less well-known setting of the two settings of the Gloria by Vivaldi. It’s a wonderful piece of music that deserves to be far better known and I’ve often wondered why it’s so neglected as it’s packed full of musical delights such as its second choral movement ‘Et in terra pax’ whose relaxed…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Ascende laeta RV635

Ascende laeta (RV635) is a fine example of Vivaldi’s pioneering musical practice of the introduzione. These introduzioni are short solo motets intended as you might guess from the name to introduce major choral items such as the Gloria in the Mass or the as in this case the Dixit Dominus at Vespers. He composed it…