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Early Music

Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger



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Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Dixit Dominus, RV 595 [22.08]
Nulla in mundo pax sincera, RV 630 [14.00]
Jubilate, o amoeni chori RV 639 [6.02]
Gloria, RV 588 [26.07]
Jane Archibald, Michele de Boer, soprano; Anita Krause, mezzo; Nils Brown, tenor; Peter Mahon, countertenor; Giles Tomkins, bass
Aradia Ensemble and Chorus/Kevin Mallon
Recorded Grace Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 20 September 2003
Notes in English.  Recorded in 44/24 5.1 channel sound, also in AC-3 and dts.
DVD-Audio also playable on DVD-Video Players.  Not playable on CD players.
NAXOS 5.110064 [68.18]

 




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Comparison Recordings:

Vivaldi, Motets, Andreas Scholl, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Decca 289 466 964-2 

Vivaldi’s great concertos are well known — poor children hum them while playing in the street and Feminist priestesses nourish their potted ferns with vitamins and Vivaldi.  But Vivaldi’s vocal music remains a vast unknown country just now being explored, which exploration began with the first recordings of the famous Gloria (RV 589) many years ago and which now includes several operas, one in a fine video production by the San Francisco Opera. 

To be perfectly clear, I should say that this is the other Vivaldi Gloria, RV 588, not the Vivaldi Gloria, RV 589, which is more usually played, except, that is, for the last movement Cum sancto spiritu which is the same for both Vivaldi Glorias, and isn’t by Vivaldi anyway.  Apparently it was a favourite movement of the times and got copied into lots of people’s masses — no surprise since it’s a superb piece of music, well worth hearing at every opportunity.  And, this is also apparently the other Dixit Dominus, the later RV 594 being more often played.   

This is not absolute top-drawer Vivaldi, but is still very fine music by the standards of other composers.  The instrumentalists and chorus perform beautifully, the chorus sopranos having the approved “white” sound indicating that they are either boys or girls who know how to sound like boys.  This Dixit Dominus is a very fine work and the performance is committed.  A good half dozen of these movements, particularly the vocal ensemble numbers, are exceptionally well done and much worth hearing.  The solo voices are “modern,” the tone leaning toward what would be acceptable in a church performance of Messiah.  The solo sopranos in the “Et in Saecula Saeculorum” sing very beautifully, but they don’t sound anything whatever like boys, nor like Andreas Scholl.  If that is a problem for you, you won’t like this performance.  The Scholl disk is the opposite end of the spectrum, informed original performance practice, and Scholl sings perfectly in style. Although both disks feature soprano motets, there are no works in common between the two disks. 

The DVD-Audio sound is richly and room-fillingly ambient but still very clear. 

Paul Shoemaker 

see also Reviews by John France, Kevin Sutton and Robert Hugill

 



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