Vivaldi's Dixit Dominus, RV 807, was added to the Vivaldi canon only in 2005; it was long attributed to Baldassare Galuppi. That shows you how minor composers don't get their due; it's a marvelous work, but it's only getting recordings now that Vivaldi's name is attached to it. At any rate, it's well worth hearing in this excellent performance by the rising British group La Nuova Musica, which has both vocal and instrumental components. They move like a well-oiled machine, making possible the clear communication of such vivid details as the musical depiction of a stream in the strings in the countertenor aria De torrente in via bibet (track 8) and the unusually elaborate fugue that concludes the work..
Farnace was apparently one of Vivaldi's favorite operas, because he mounted numerous productions in various cities, and wrote six versions of the score, more than of any of his other operas. The conventions of operatic vocal characterizations that came to be standard – higher voices in the sympathetic roles, and lower voices in villainous roles – had not yet been established, and Farnace features a baritone and contralto in the heroic roles, with a soprano as the villain. Soprano Adriana Fernández shines as the wicked Berenice, who is redeemed at the very last minute. She has a full, creamy voice that she deploys appealing agility and warmth. As Tamira, contralto Sara Mingardo sings with power, authority, and deep feeling. In the title role, baritone Furio Zanasi is appropriately heroic, with a rich, refined timbre and the expressive depth to create sympathy for the conflicted protagonist, but he doesn't always have the necessary strength at the bottom of his range. One of his arias, the lyrical and poignant "Gelido in ogni vena," is among the composer's loveliest creations.
Vivaldi's Dixit Dominus, RV 807, was added to the Vivaldi canon only in 2005; it was long attributed to Baldassare Galuppi. That shows you how minor composers don't get their due; it's a marvelous work, but it's only getting recordings now that Vivaldi's name is attached to it. At any rate, it's well worth hearing in this excellent performance by the rising British group La Nuova Musica, which has both vocal and instrumental components. They move like a well-oiled machine, making possible the clear communication of such vivid details as the musical depiction of a stream in the strings in the countertenor aria De torrente in via bibet (track 8) and the unusually elaborate fugue that concludes the work.
Soprano Simone Kermes sings a variety of repertoire from the Baroque to the Romantic, but it's in the Baroque where she has made the strongest impact, and she shines in this album of Vivaldi opera arias and solo cantatas. The recordings are culled from two earlier Deutsche Grammophon Archiv releases, Amor Profano and Amor Sacro, so fans of the singer who already own those albums would not be getting new material with this one. For other listeners, though, it's an attractive selection that showcases Kermes' versatility, as well as Vivaldi's.
You may have noticed that two composers are named for this opera. As we know, opera librettos frequently were set to music by more than one composer in the 18th (and even 19th) century. Francesco Corselli was French by birth (Francois Courcelle was his real name) but worked in Parma and Madrid. His Farnace was written in 1736. Vivaldi composed his Farnace in 1727. For his performances of Vivaldi's version (in Madrid in October, 2001), the great string player and conductor Jordi Savall decided to do what was common practice back in Vivaldi's time–add some arias and other music from a contemporary work on the same subject–and for this he chose selections from Corselli's score. For the record, the bits of Corselli that Savall includes are a Sinfonia plus a recitative and aria for Berenice used as a prologue to Act 1, an aria for Farnace to begin Act 2, and a march preceding the action in Act 3–altogether a bit more than 20 minutes… –Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
What can anyone add to the praise that has deservedly been heaped on Robert King and the King's Consort's 11 discs of the complete sacred music of Vivaldi? Can one add that every single performance is first class – wonderfully musical, deeply dedicated, and profoundly spiritual?
David Bates directs La Nuova Musica in a pair of contrasting settings of Psalm 109. Handel's masterful and ambitious HWV282 was penned in 1707 during a youthful visit to Italy. Vivaldi's vivid and economical RV807 (his third Dixit Dominus) was long mistakenly attributed to Baldassare Galuppi; it probably dates from the early 1730s. Rounding out the programme is Vivaldi's dazzling motet for solo voice, "In furore iustissimae irae", featuring soprano Lucy Crowe.
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741), nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest") because of his red hair, was an Italian Baroque composer, Catholic priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice. Recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe. Vivaldi is known mainly for composing instrumental concertos, especially for the violin, as well as sacred choral works and over forty operas. His best known work is a series of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons..
The monumental Vivaldi series on France's Naïve label rolls on with this gorgeous disc of somber sacred music, some of it instrumental. Part of the attraction of this series, based on a collection of Vivaldi manuscripts held at the University of Turin, is that so much of the music is unknown; the listener has the experience of seeing new masterworks unfurled at every turn. Consider the "Tunc meus fletus" aria from the opening solo motet (really more of a solo cantata) In furore iustissimae irae, RV 626, rendered here with truly tortured intensity by the dazzling French soprano Sandrine Piau…