Not less important than his instrumental production, Vivaldi’s sacred music includes compositions respectful of traditional form but characterized by accentuated variety in the harmonization of the voices, becoming particularly expressive in the moments of major polyphonic expansion, as in the superb Magnificat and justly exalted together with the luminous Gloria.
There are two versions of Magnificat: the first, for two sopranos, contralto, tenor, two 4 voice choirs, two oboes, strings and continuo, while the second is for soprano, contralto, tenor, strings and continuo. The CD, recorded live together with Gloria at the Orvieto-Ushuhaia Classica Festival in 2011, contains the first version.
The ‘red priest’ worked on Gloria at an unknown time, while he held the post of Maestro of young Venetians, wards of the Ospedale della Pietà, and surely had to take into account the workforce – certainly appreciated – for which he composed: that explains the unusual presence in the score, besides the choir, of two sopranos and one contralto and, in the orchestra, besides the greatly praised strings, an oboe and a trumpet; percussions are absent, despite the festively solemn character of the composition, in which eleven pieces of fanciful singability wind out.
Orvieto, July 16th 2011
Eleonora Marziali, Soprano
Anna Maria Formicola, Alto
Stefano Marra, Tenor
Francesco Massimi, Basso continuo