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Vivaldi - Sacred Music 5
Early Music Review
“This release in Robert King's complete cycle of Vivaldi's church music mainly features works unconnected with the Ospedale della Pietà, including a motet written in Rome and the famous Stabat mater composed for a church in Brescia. All are for solo voice or voices and orchestra, and for the most part they all carry the typical Vivaldi trademarks: boisterous energy alongside a tender if angular lyricism; a vivid and excitable responsiveness to verbal imagery; and what the insert-notes describe as 'a shocking radicalism: a willingness to strip music down to its core and reconstitute it from these simplest elements'. The best works on this disc are the first three. In turbato mare is a rip-roaring 'simile' motet which makes use of the old operatic device of comparing a troubled soul to a stormtossed ship finding peace in port. The noble Nonin pratis aut in hortis is an introduzione, a short motet designed to precede a performance of a lost Miserere; since it ends on a half-close, it's followed here (with musical if not liturgical logic) by the Stabat mater. All are excellently sung; few recordings exist of the first two, but it's hard to imagine the ebulliently virtuosic Susan Gritton and the movingly firm-voiced Jean Rigby being significantly bettered. By contrast, the Stabat mater is well-trodden territory, but the warmly mellifluous Robin Blaze easily matches his rivals on disc. The King's Consort is a little raw in the string department, but in general it shows bright and lively form and is well served by an acoustic perfectly suited to the occasion. Under King's direction, too, they capture splendidly the spirit of this uncomplicated but atmospheric music.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“Robin Blaze sings with passion and raw honesty, and delivers plenty of sweetly contoured coloratura. The King's Consort boldly play with resonance and passion.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2007
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The Art of Vivaldi’s Lute
Ronn McFarlane (lute), C. Ann Loud, Marlisa del Cid Woods (violin), William Bauer (viola d'amore) & Jennifer Ellis Kampanis (soprano)
The Bach Sinfonia, Dan Abraham (director)
One of the United States best period instrument ensembles teams up with one of the worlds best lutenists to perform the music of one of the most beloved composers of all time for this exciting new release from Sono Luminus. The Bach Sinfonia, under the direction Daniel Abraham performs the lute works of Vivaldi with GRAMMY® Nominated lutenist Ronn McFarlane delivering one of the years most exciting concerto albums.
The Baroque concerto owes much of its development and advancement to Vivaldi. At the essence of the genre’s structure is idea of the ritornello. In the Baroque concerto, these reoccurring statements each alternate with modulating episodes with freer character in which the soloist(s) dominate the overall texture. Treatment of the ritornello within the works varies greatly among composers: whereas Bach and other Germans often integrated the ideas of the refrain, either complete or in part, as accompaniment to the episodes, Vivaldi relies heavily on exploring only specific ideas of the complete refrain and regularly ignores or alters other elements of the ritornello during repetitions.
In addition, Vivaldi’s works advance the standard Italianate concerto scheme of three movements in a fast-slow-fast pattern. The Bach Sinfonia is dedicated to excellence in performance, public education and disseminating a greater understanding of the variety of styles, composers, and masterpieces of the baroque, pre-classical, and classical periods. Specialists in the performance of music of the 17th and 18th centuries, the ensemble presents concerts, lectures, and other cultural events designed to be not only entertainment but also an educational experience. Their performances and recordings have received outstanding reviews and international recognition.
The work of conductor Daniel Abraham has garnered praise from many noteworthy sources including The Washington Post, Choral Journal, the BBC and Early Music America. Abraham’s performances have been nationally broadcast on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, he has appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Concert Hall of the Music Center at Strathmore, The National Women’s Museum of the Arts, and has prepared choruses for the national broadcasts of the Kennedy Center Honors Gala (PBS) and Christmas in Washington (TNT). Abraham is associate professor of music and director of choral activities at American University in Washington, D.C., and is a sought after clinician who has given master classes and clinics throughout the United States, Canada, and as far as Cairo, Egypt.
Ronn McFarlane, lutenist, is one of the most outstanding lutenists performing today and is largely responsible for bringing the transcendent charm and timeless quality of the lute into the musical mainstream and making it accessible to a larger audience. McFarlane has numerous recordings on the Dorian and then Sono Luminus labels including solo recordings, lute song recordings, over ten CDs with the Baltimore Consort and ballad recordings with Custer LaRue and members of the Baltimore Consort. In 2009, his CD Indigo Road, released with Sono Luminus, was nominated for a GRAMMY® award.
Along with the beautiful lute works featuring McFarlane, the album enjoys a beautiful vocal performance from soprano Jennifer Ellis Kampani as the featured soloist for In Turbato mare irato.
(also available to download from $10.50)
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Vivaldi - Amor Sacro
“Simone Kermes is an agile singer with a wide vocal range who is comfortably able to negotiate Vivaldi's virtuoso writing with technical panache and expressive warmth.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2007 *****
“Opening with one of the composer's most thrillingly virtuoso motets, In furore iustissimae irae, the Venice Baroque Orchestra go on to one of his most beautiful, Nullo in mundo pax. And if the other two are less individually striking, they are nevertheless well worth hearing; In turbato mare opens with a stomach-churning depiction of those raging seas that are always tossing the soul so, and later conjures dread at mention of the 'horrors of death', while Sum in medio tempestatum treats a similar subject with a touch more mid-century leisure and politeness.
The disc is, of course, a vehicle for Simone Kermes, whose bright vocal talents have so far impressed in a number of Baroque operas but here make their solo recording debut. She proves more than a match for Vivaldi's typically athletic vocal demands – indeed adds to them in a number of tessitura-extending cadenzas – and makes much of the music's bold contrasts. Some may look for more innocence in the gentler music, where her mini-vibrato can sound rather knowing, but in general Kermes's performances give nothing but pleasure. The orchestra is forthright and exciting, with a satisfyingly full, organ-enriched sound, marred only by some of the cheesy lute embellishments.
A straightforward Vivaldi disc, but one full of the strength of expertise.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“…Simone Kermes… proves more than a match for Vivaldi's typically athletic vocal demands - indeed adds to them in a number of tessitura-extending cadenzas - and makes much of the music's bold contrasts. The orchestra is forthright and exciting, with a satisfying full, organ-enriched sound...” Gramophone Magazine, June 2007
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Vivaldi - The Complete Sacred Music
Gloria RV ANH. 23
Magnificat RV610a (version for double choir)
Lauda, Jerusalem, RV609
Dixit Dominus, RV594
In furore iustissimae irae, RV626
Longe mala, umbrae, terrores, RV629
Clarae stellae, scintillate, RV625
Canta in prato, ride in monte, RV623
Introduzione al miserere, RV 638 'Filiae maestae Jerusalem'
Nulla in mundo pax sincera, motet for soprano, strings & continuo, RV 630
Dixit Dominus, RV595
Domine ad adiuvandum me (Psalm 69), RV593
Credidi propter quod, RV605
Beatus vir, RV598
Beatus vir, RV597
Juditha Triumphans, RV644
In turbato mare irato, RV627
Non in pratis aut in hortis RV641
Stabat Mater, RV621
O qui coeli terraeque serenitas, RV631
Deus tuorum militum RV612
Confitebor tibi, Domine RV596
Beatus vir RV795
Salve Regina, RV 617
Laudate Dominum, RV606
In exitu Israel, RV 604
Nisi Dominus (Psalm 126), RV608
Laetatus sum (psalm 121), R.607
Laudate pueri, RV601
Vestro Principi divino - Mottetto per contralto, archi e continuo RV 633 in F major
Introduzione al Gloria, RV 639 'Jubilate, o amoeni chori'
Sum in medio tempestatum RV632
Laudate pueri, RV600
Cur sagittas, cur tela RV637
Sanctorum meritis, RV 620
Salve Regina, RV 616
Laudate pueri, RV602
Salve Regina, RV 618
Introduzione al Dixit Dominus, RV 635 'Ascende laeta'
Gaude mater Ecclesia RV613
Vos aurae per montes RV634
Gloria Patri RV602a
Gloria in D major, RV589
Nisi Dominus RV803
Introduzione al Gloria, RV 642 'Ostro picta, armata spina'
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