Author Topic: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works  (Read 6734 times)

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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2020, 03:30:16 AM »



Agreed. One of the rare occasions I found a recording in this series a failure... but there it is.

Q

Cheers, Que. It can be difficult to level any sort of criticism whatever against any CD in such a, deservedly, well respected series. They are such Sacred Cows [pardon the pun].
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Offline Que

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2020, 05:01:07 AM »
Cheers, Que. It can be difficult to level any sort of criticism whatever against any CD in such a, deservedly, well respected series. They are such Sacred Cows [pardon the pun].

I'm probably quite infamous in these circles for slaughtering holy cows....   8)

Anyway, in my search for other Vivaldi motets recordings, I came across something I can recommend:



Astronio's energy level is not like that of a Biondi, but the conducting is very stylish and sensitive and the singing is terrific.

And here is Biondi - another great recording (might be hard to find):



 Q

Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2020, 05:13:36 AM »
Anyway, in my search for other Vivaldi motets recordings, I came across something I can recommend:



Astronio's energy level is not like that of a Biondi, but the conducting is very stylish and sensitive and the singing is terrific.


Thank you for the recommendations. I do not have or know that one Que.



Quote
And here is Biondi - another great recording (might be hard to find):


Q


That one I do have and like very much.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2020, 03:37:14 AM »
Motet: Vos aurae per montes RV634


This motet was written for the feast of St. Anthony of Padua. This work tends, overall, to be more on the celebratory than the devotional side as it extols the virtues of the saint. It is written for a soprano voice and the writing is challenging. A typical performance lasts approximately thirteen minutes.

The work is in the standard four movement structure:

Aria No. 1 [Allegro]
Recitativo
Aria No. 2 [Andante molto]
Alleluia [Allegro]

The following are the three versions that I have in my collection all of which are sung by females:



Sampson/King:





Sampson’s voice is strong yet mellow and she is very clear in her delivery. King, again, delivers his typical direction in Vivaldi and the pacing is tight and yields up the requisite Vivaldian lilt and rhythm.

Arias I and II are delivered very well by Sampson in terms of her ornamentation which is never affectatious. She is also strong, ardent and compelling without being over assertive.
The recitative is very lyrical and it is effectively delivered with a very simple continuo. 
The Alleluia is buoyant and the pace and tone are just right.

Once again, King delivers a very fine version of Vivaldi’s Sacred Music which has great presence.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2020, 03:38:38 AM »
Zádori/Németh:





Zádori’s voice is lighter in tone than that of Sampson. She has a crystal clear presentation. Németh’s pacing is taut but actually feels on the relaxed side. His sound, perhaps the size of his ensemble, sounds more full than that of King. Either way it sounds good.

Arias I and II are delivered very well by Zádori in a delightfully relaxed and lilting manner. Her ornamentation is also fine and it never feels forced. The tone of the two arias is celebratory.
The recitative is earnest and is accompanied by a chamber organ.
The delivery of the Alleluia is poised and energetic in a refined presentation.

This is a fine performance throughout. It is very well played, sung and paced.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2020, 03:39:41 AM »
LeBlanc/Stubbs:





LeBlanc’s voice is strong, bright and light and I would place its tone akin to that of Zádori above. It is crystal clear. I am a long admirer of LeBlanc’s voice. I find it to be effortless in its delivery.  Stubbs delivers a very sympathetic accompaniment that is well paced using a small ensemble.

Arias I and II are both vibrant deliveries definitely in a celebratory mood. They are driven but are not over assertive. LeBlanc’s ornamentation appears to be minimal in its application but it is very effective in its subtlety.
The recitative has a slightly haunting air to it due to the somewhat reverberant acoustic. It is accompanied by a simple continuo and it is a delight.
The Alleluia is joyous, celebratory, well paced [pressed but not driven] and it is delightful.

This is a very fine, chamber-like presentation.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2020, 03:16:48 AM »

Salve Regina: RV 616

The Salve Regina is the Marian antiphon prescribed for the period running from Trinity Sunday to the Saturday preceding the first Sunday in Advent. This antiphon has six sentences, which Vivaldi sets as six contrasting movements in RV .

Vivaldi wrote three settings for the Salve Regina. The Salve Regina RV 616 is scored for alto, most probably for a female, and double orchestra which is laid out in two choirs. This setting requires the usual strings but also two recorders and a transverse flute in the first choir. The vocal writing has a great beauty to it and it does require some ornamentation.

The Latin text is as follows:

Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiæ,
vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevæ.
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos
misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.

The following are the six versions that I have in my collection, interestingly four male and two female vocalists. The standard performance duration is around sixteen/seventeen minutes.

Scholl/Dyer:





Scholl and Dyer deliver a fine performance. Scholl’s delivery is light but strong. The overall tone is devotional but when the Vivaldian moments are required Dyer delivers the requisite spirit and sense of vibrancy when called upon.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2020, 03:17:49 AM »
Kowalski/Negri:





Kowalski has a strong but smooth voice which lends a certain gravitas to the presentation. He is intense but never ponderous. Negri delivers up the requisite faster tempi well when appropriate. This is a robust, solemn delivery.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2020, 03:19:21 AM »
Lesne/Biondi:





This Lesne/Biondi presentation feels “lighter” but is one that has great presence. Lesne produces a fine, vibrant display. It is a speedy version, lasting thirteen and a half minutes. It is therefore, less solemn in tone and somewhat more celebratory. I must admit that it is a particular favourite of mine.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2020, 03:20:19 AM »
Stutzmann/King:





Stutzmann’s voice is strong, clear and ardent. Stutzmann and King deliver a version which is definitely on the solemn and devotional side. It is a strong delivery and presentation throughout.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #30 on: July 19, 2020, 03:21:27 AM »
Chance/Pinnock:





Chance’s voice is somewhat deceptive in the strength of its delivery; its seems lightweight but it has a strength and clarity about it. Chance’s ornamentation is overt but it is very effective. This is a fine presentation, and it delivers on the solemn side in tone.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2020, 03:22:27 AM »
Mingardo/Alessandrini:





Mingardo’s voice is rich and robust and she delivers an eloquent and solemn prayer. The orchestral accompaniment is equally rich and robust and both Mingardo and Alessandrini deliver a typically refined and polished performance.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2020, 12:51:24 AM »
Vivaldi: Beatus vir

The Beatus vir is a setting by Viavadi of Psalm 111/112 [depending on your choice of Psalm numbering] to be sung on Sundays and feast days. Vivaldi apparently wrote three versions, RV597, RV598 & RV599 but the latter, it seems, has been lost. However, I do have a recording of a Beatus vir RV795 which is, apparently, an updated version, by Vivaldi himself, of RV597.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2020, 12:54:31 AM »
Vivaldi: Beatus vir RV597 is a setting for two choirs and is notable for the quality of its counterpoint. It is in nine movements. This is music on a deceptively large scale; it sounds quite intimate. The quality of the writing is understated but it is very fine indeed. The quality of the writing puts me in mind of some of Mozart’s finest Sacred Music writing; I think it is that good, even though I inherently dislike comparing composers. I have two contrasting versions in my collection, both of which are equally appealing.

King:





This is quite a refined, poised and elegant presentation. The vocals from all concerned are wonderful. The choral singing is particularly fine; it is ethereal in the Antiphonae, for me the highlight of this recording. The orchestral accompaniment is well paced, and sensitive to the vocalists in terms of balance and never dominates proceedings. In terms of tone this version is gentle, delicate and devotional despite lasting only 25:21 minutes. The recording is really very appealing and never feels in any way rushed. The presentation belies the scale of the work, in a good way and I think that King does a supreme job in his interpretation and presentation of this quality work.




Negri:





The Negri version is more robust than the King version and it also has the feel of a “heavier” presentation: it has a bigger presence and sounds more “old school”. It is slower paced, lasting 29:49 minutes, but never feels tardy, and the orchestral textures are more dense.  This gives this presentation something of a solemn feel to it. The vocals are also more earnest and this is particularly noticeable in the Antiphonae [a massive difference from King].  However, it does not lose any of the fine balance required between the vocalists and the orchestra. It is an interesting contrast to the “lighter” King version, but is equally valid, I feel. It gives a good indication of the scale of the work. However, much as I like the Negri my preference would be for the King version.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #34 on: September 13, 2020, 12:55:56 AM »
Vivaldi: Beatus vir RV598

The Beatus vir RV598 is a setting for three soloists [SSA], choir, strings and continuo and is written in one movement. It is a smaller scale work in every respect when compared with RV597. It is, though, a deceptively complex work.  It is, however, no less appealing to the ear and it is a very fine work in its own right. I have three versions in my collection.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #35 on: September 13, 2020, 12:58:39 AM »
King:





This is a fast paced presentation at 7:11 minutes but it does not feel rushed. I find it well paced. Once again, I find the vocal/orchestral balance to be very fine in this version. The textures throughout are light and very appealing.




Malgoire:





This is a slower paced presentation than King at 7:41 minutes but it does not feel any longer or tardy in any way. The vocal/orchestral presentation sounds more full here but the textures throughout still sound on the lighter side. The vocal/orchestral balance is also very good. I prefer this combination of sopranos to that of King’s. 




Negri:





This is an even slower paced presentation than that of Malgoire at 7:51 minutes but there is certainly no discernible feeling of any slackening in pace. The two sopranos here sound more ardent and robust and the presentation has the strongest presence of the three, but it is not necessarily the best one. It just feels different and, once again, is equally valid.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #36 on: September 20, 2020, 04:05:16 AM »
Vivaldi: Nulla in mundo pax sincera RV 630

Nulla in mundo pax sincera RV 630 is a sacred motet and is scored for solo soprano, two violins, viola and basso continuo. A typical performance would normally take around 13 minutes. The work has four sections which are not set to liturgical texts:
Aria I
Recitative
Aria II
Alleluia

I think that Nulla in mundo pax sincera is one of the jewels in Vivaldi’s store of Sacred Music. Structurally, both melodically and harmonically, it is very fine musical writing. There are many demands made on the vocalist without compromising the integrity of the nature of the music.

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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #37 on: September 20, 2020, 04:10:15 AM »
I have five versions of Nulla in mundo pax sincera RV 630 in my collection, of which, two director/soprano combinations have been discussed before:

De Marchi/Hermann:





This version by De Marchi/Hermann, at 13:31 minutes has a wonderfully delicate and devotional tone to it in Aria I and a contrasting celebratory tone in Aria II and the Alleluia. Unlike Polverelli, the mezzo soprano on this CD, the nature and quality of Hermann’s soprano voice, despite her tendency for excessive vibrato in Aria I, is a better fit for the relevant music. De Marchi’s accompaniment is sensitive. I like this version of the Alleluia.





Németh/Zádori:





This version lasts for only 12:00 minutes with Németh taking a brisk pace. I like the tone and quality of Zádori’s voice. She employs less ornamentation in the vocal line in Aria I than Hermann which I feel is more suitable and effective. Zádori is respectively jubilant in Aria II and the Alleluia. Once again, Németh’s pacing is taut but actually feels on the relaxed side. I like his accompaniment.


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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #38 on: September 20, 2020, 04:14:25 AM »
Hogwood/Kirkby:





This version of Nulla in mundo pax sincera lasts for 13:37 minutes, the slowest of those featured here, but it certainly does not feel it. For me, this work is synonymous with Kirkby; when I think of this motet I think of Kirkby and when I think of Kirkby I think of this motet. Kirkby’s voice here is crystal clear and almost ethereal in places. She employs minimum vibrato in Aria one. This, given the nature and quality of her voice, gives the music a somewhat haunting sense. Clear as a bell, literally, comes to mind, particularly on those higher nore. The delivery of Aria I is wonderful, devotional and flawless. Her presentation throughout, indeed is impeccable. Her use of vocal ornamentation is appropriate and effective. I think that she is wonderfully caught on this recording. Hogwood’s accompaniment feels more texturally dense and this, coupled with Kirkby’s soaring soprano voice, tends to add a light gravitas to the feel of this presentation, if that makes sense.




King/York:





King takes a seemingly leisurely approach to this work but this presentation lasts for a roughly average 13:31 minutes for performance time. The accompaniment sounds full but it is very sensitive. York has a strong soprano voice and is not overly ostentatious in her vocal ornamentation overall. The result of both of these factors is a suitably devotional tone, except in the Alleluia, naturally, which is more celebratory. It is not a major cause for annoyance but I do find York just a tad fastidious with regard to her efforts at perfect diction [or so it seems to me]. She does, however, still have a very fine voice and I particularly like her performance in the Alleluia.




Sándor/Kalmár:





For contrast, this is an “Old School” version of Nulla in mundo pax sincera which lasts 15:58 minutes. The impact of the pace is instantly noticeable at the very beginning of the work. It immediately feels very slow when compared with the more modern presentations. Kalmár has a very fine and clear soprano voice. This presentation is certainly not an HIP one but that is fine. Aria I feels very slow and Kalmár’s vocal ornamentation is at a minimum level but she does employ vibrato but not excessively. The pace does increase later on and she is quite competent in delivering it. Interestingly this, to me, still does not feel very reverential or devotional, just rather slow and somewhat laboured. Her approach overall is operatic, as is the direction. The presentation is on a larger level and it is well sung and played. 



« Last Edit: September 20, 2020, 04:17:02 AM by aligreto »
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Vivaldi: cantatas, motets, and other sacred works
« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2020, 04:54:25 AM »
Vivaldi: Regina Coeli RV615 [Negri]


Vivaldi apparently only wrote one setting for the Regina Coeli. Unfortunately, even this is incomplete.
This is a Marian antiphon written for use from Easter Sunday to the first Friday after Pentecost.

The following is a quote from the CD booklet:

Quote
The surviving remnants of the score include the last two movements with a direction for the abridged da capo repetition of the first of them.


The scoring for this one is, unusually, for a tenor voice. It also includes two trumpets to enhance the sense of the Easter celebrations.

I only have one version of this work in my collection:



It only comprises 4:56 minutes of music. And yes, it is unusual to hear a tenor singing this type of music by Vivaldi.

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