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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66829
Recording details: September 2001
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: August 2002
Total duration: 9 minutes 37 seconds

‘Another well-executed Vivaldi disc, then, from King, who with this series is showing that his good ear for the right singer is matched by innate sympathy for the music’ (Gramophone)

'A magnificent disc' (BBC Music Magazine)

'An outstanding addition to an exciting series' (Early Music Review)

‘As always, Robert King leads vigorous and stylish period-instrument support … Hyperion’s estimable series still has quite a few volumes to go, and one can only await them eagerly’ (American Record Guide)

‘beautifully performed … It doesn’t get much better than this’ (Classic FM Magazine)

‘colorful, strongly projected performances … the new disc lives fully up to the quality of its predecessors’ (Fanfare, USA)

‘The orchestra … is admirably precise. Each of their finely chiselled notes gives substance to sacred inspiration’ (Goldberg)

‘The performers give stunning vocals … The playing of The King’s Consort is superb’ (AdLib)

‘L’orchestre est absolument superbe de précision et de raffinement, et la patte de King se fait sentir partout: on peut ainsi admirer la science du coloris et la gracieuse légèreté de touché, ou tout simplement adorer l’idée même qu’il semble se faire de la sonorité idéale, fruits et fleurs mêlés’ (Classica, France)

Cur sagittas, cur tela, RV637
composer
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In his first period of sacred vocal music composition at the Pietà, Vivaldi pioneered the practice of inserting short solo motets (introduzioni) before major choral items such as the Gloria in the Mass or the Dixit Dominus at Vespers. The present introduzione, which belongs to a large group of Vivaldian compositions with a connection to the feast of St Lawrence Martyr, was in all probability composed in the 1720s or early 1730s for an institution other than the Pietà, and shows that Vivaldi was keen to extend the use of this newly invented genre. Since its key is B flat major, it is highly unlikely that it was designed to introduce one of the extant Vivaldi settings of the Gloria (RV588 and RV589), both of which are in D major. Perhaps it was linked to a setting, presumably by Vivaldi himself, in B flat major that was a partner to the surviving Kyrie in G minor, RV587. Although RV637 is not itself laid out for two cori, a reference to ‘organi’ (in the plural) in the autograph score implies that it was intended for performance in circumstances where the ensemble was divided.

From a close examination of the manuscript, it appears that the work originally consisted of two movements: an aria and a recitative. The first describes the soul’s combat with the powers of darkness, armed with faith, while the second calls on the aid of St Lawrence in the struggle. The word ‘Gloriam’ (accusative of ‘Gloria’) appears in the last line of the recitative as a ‘pre-echo’ of the first word of the main work. At a later stage, however, Vivaldi decided to lengthen RV637 by adding a prayer to the saint in the form of a slow aria. This caused him to replace ‘Gloriam’ (now made redundant) by ‘laeta’. The gentle lyricism of the added aria provides an effective contrast to the blood and thunder of the opening one.

from notes by Michael Talbot © 2002

Other albums featuring this work
'Vivaldi: The Complete Sacred Music' (CDS44171/81)
Vivaldi: The Complete Sacred Music
MP3 £35.00FLAC £35.00ALAC £35.00Buy by post £40.00 CDS44171/81  11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
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