Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Salve regina RV618

Vivaldi wrote three settings of the Salve that survived RV616, RV 617, and RV618, two of these three RV616 and RV618 use identical forces – solo contralto and strings divided into two cori. (If you want to hear RV616 again I wrote about it here: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Salve regina RV616 | Saturday Chorale, the…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Dixit Dominus RV 595

This magnificent setting of Psalm 110 (Vulgate 109) was only rediscovered as a set of locally copied separate parts in the late 1960s in the National Library in Prague. It was almost certainly composed for the Pietà some time before 1717 and I think it very likely that it was amongst the works taken back…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Ostro picta RV642

Vivaldi composed Ostro picta for the Pietà’s patronal festival the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin which falls on July 2nd. Based on stylistic grounds I think he must have composed it round about the same time as the Gloria RV589 and could even have composed it as its preceding companion piece. It starts very cheerfully…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Laetatus sum RV607

Laetatus sum (I was glad) RV607 the text of which is taken from Psalm 121 in the Vulgate is a companion piece to Vivaldi’s setting of Psalm 116 about which I wrote on April 24th 2014 (See: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Laudate Dominum RV606 | Saturday Chorale). Companion pieces such as this had an important function…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Salve regina RV617

This is one one three settings by Vivaldi of the Marian antiphon Salve regina that are known to survive. It’s the earliest, and the most unusual of the three. In fact ‘unusual’ is to put it mildly – it’s one his most original compositions in any genre and a piece of music in which his…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Laudate Dominum RV606

Vivaldi’s powerful and concise setting of Psalm 116 (117 in Protestant bibles) for choir and strings is one of my favourites. It dates from his ‘first’ period at the Pietà because it’s so short – there’re only two verses plus the Lesser Doxology Vivaldi had to find a way of making it musically interesting. He…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Domine ad adiuvandum RV593

This is one of the most perfect pieces of music that Vivaldi ever wrote.  The text is half a verse from Psalm 69 (70) as a response to the versicle with which Vespers begins ‘Deus in adjutorium meum intende‘. It’s one of a group of large-scale double choir works that Vivaldi wrote during the 1720s.…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Salve regina RV616

In some ways this setting of the Salve is very similar to Vivaldi’s G minor setting (RV618). Both settings are for an alto soloist, Vivaldi divided his strings between two cori and made use of woodwind obbligato instruments in each, and both have a a six-movement structure. So much for the similarities – the differences…

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): In exitu Israel RV604

This Psalm (113 in the Vulgate and 114 combined with 115 in Protestant bibles) has alway been something of a nightmare for composers. Even if you forget all about the two verses of the doxology you’re still left with the problem of how to maintain musical momentum and interest through twenty-seven verses. Vivaldi’s setting dates…