Vivaldi: Sacred Works For Soprano & Concertos

Album cover art for upc 723385323112
Label: Channel Classics
Catalog: CCSSA32311
Format: SACD / CD Hybrid

Florilegium & Elin Manahan Thomas

Concerto Madrigalesco RV129 for strings and
continuo / Laudate Pueri RV601 for soprano, flute, string and continuo / Il Gran Mogul RV431a Concerto for solo flute, strings and continuo / Motet Nulla in mundo RV630 for soprano, 2 violins, viola and continuo / Concerto in B flat RV547 for solo violin, solo cello, strings and continuo

Vivaldi joined the staff of the Ospedale della Pietà in September 1703 as Maestro di Violin. Established in the 14th century, the Pietà was one of four charitable Venetian orphanages for women supported by the state.
Vivaldi's instrumental chamber works cannot be dated with any certainty, nor do we know for whom they were written. Despite this lack of information, we can surmise he produced them for his pupils at the Pietà, perhaps during the late 1720's and 1730's. Bach, Telemann and several French composers all explored the chamber concerto medium to a great degree. 18th-century Italian composers, who concentrated on opera, sacred and secular music for the voice, appear to have ignored it, with the exception of Vivaldi.
Our modern image of Vivaldi is primarily that of a secular composer, yet much of his work was intended for performances in the church.
The importance of sacred music for solo voice in the oeuvre of Vivaldi emerges with a bolds statistic: of his fifty or so extant sacred vocal works, thirty are for solo voice. These sacred pieces reflect the talents of the orphans at the Ospedale della Pietà, which maintained an all-female choir and orchestra responsible for the music in its chapel. Despite its ability to perform choral music at a very high standard, the Pietà also laid special emphasis on works for
solo voice.

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