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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66839
Recording details: February 2003
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: July 2003
Total duration: 9 minutes 27 seconds

'As expected, the performances are breathtaking … It is hard to imagine more engaging and eloquent performances of this music' (American Record Guide)

'fresh, invigorating performances' (The Sunday Times)

'relaxed, warm-hearted performances' (Classic FM Magazine)

'The performance is absolutely superb, both Carolyn Sampson and Joanne Lunn singing with gloriously resplendent tone and accuracy' (Fanfare, USA)

'Carolyn Sampson splendidly fulfils the role of virtuoso-soloist' (The Evening Standard)

'King and his musicians sensitively underline the music's rich textures, surprising harmonies and effective word painting' (Goldberg)

'Robert King’s direction is very fine, with some nicely judged phrasing from his excellent orchestra. Buy this, and you too will be impatient to hear volumes one to eight' (Early Music)

Ascende laeta, RV635
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. Ascende laeta is an introduzione for soprano and strings designed to precede the Dixit Dominus. It is congruent in key (A major), style and even thematic design with Vivaldi’s earlier surviving setting of the psalm, RV595. This and other factors enable Ascende laeta to be dated around 1715.

Its text, written in the highly Italianate Latin of the time, associates it with the celebration of the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on 15 August. The opening aria describes how Mary joyfully ascends mountains and hills, this ascent being an Arcadian metaphor for her translation to Heaven. In a central recitative the anonymous poet heaps encomiums on Mary, and the final aria exhorts the angels of Paradise, the flowers of the field and the shepherds of the Nativity to join in her praise. This final aria mentions the rustic instruments fistula and tibia (pipe and flute), and Vivaldi accordingly places bagpipe-like drones in the bass and chains of parallel thirds in the treble. The exuberance of this simple but by no means facile work makes the perfect hors d’oeuvre to the opening psalm of Vespers.

from notes by Michael Talbot © 2003

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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