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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66849
Recording details: November 2003
All Saints, Tooting, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: February 2004
Total duration: 17 minutes 37 seconds

'for King's sterling service to the Vivaldian cause, one of his most important recording and satisfying projects to date, I am thankful' (Gramophone)

'This final disc in Robert King's justly acclaimed complete edition of Vivaldi's sacred music is the project's crowning glory' (The Daily Telegraph)

'With Robert King, there is never a question about technical polish or keen musicianship. These are stunning performances … I would not hesitate to recommend the present disc to anyone looking for a recording of THE Gloria, both for the quality of this performance and because of the accompanying pieces, which surely must fascinate any listener with an interest in Vivaldi's most famous sacred work' (American Record Guide)

'The accomplished, precise and colourful orchestra is led by the ever vigourous and sensitive King, and the technically irreproachable and spot-on choir with its formidable bass section … is especially noteworthy' (Gramophone Early Music)

'So we have reached the end of a long, immensely rewarding trail. Brilliant, invigorating, uplifting, King's sacred music intégrale shines like a beacon in a dark world that has largely lost the ability to engage with spiritual celebration. More prosaically, it now becomes the core reference archive for Vivaldi's sacred music, a skilfully planned, superlatively engineered set of discs that will take an honoured place in recording history … as we know, there are many different ways of interpreting this repertoire, but Robert King seems to have one of the best grips on it yet by way of his energetic and unmannered view. The agile and responsive soloists, the alert and nimble chorus, and the disciplined and finely honed orchestra are all right on the mark, never wavering in either proficiency or commitment. This is a real winner, and a shoo-in for our Classical Hall of Fame' (Fanfare, USA)

Gloria, RVAnh.23
author of text

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
To close our Vivaldian Odyssey, what could be more appropriate than to give a first modern outing to a composition that demonstrably influenced Vivaldi, who ‘borrowed’ music from it in the present Gloria RV589, and even more extensively in RV588? Vivaldi’s private collection of music included the autograph score of a setting in D major for two cori of the same liturgical text, dated 9 September 1708, by Giovanni Maria Ruggieri. This Ruggieri is a shadowy figure. He appears to have been born in Verona and to have worked in Venice as a civil servant, while composing instrumental music, operas and church music fairly prolifically. He demonstrates a naive boldness not untypical of amateur composers, and it is, more than anything else, his striving for vivid effect that links him to Vivaldi, who obviously appreciated his talent and derived from him more than is evident from the straightforward borrowings. For instance, the chugging string accompaniment and lugubrious, ‘terrestrial’ sound of seven solo basses in the ‘Et in terra pax’ movement in Ruggieri’s setting is an obvious background inspiration for the corresponding movements in RV588 and RV589. How Vivaldi got hold of the score is a mystery, but it was very possibly his father, Giovanni Battista, who obtained it, since up to around 1710 Vivaldi père was the ‘senior partner’ of the two in Venetian musical life. This Gloria was certainly not written for the Pietà, and its most likely destination was a Venetian church on the occasion of a major feast.

Each coro in Ruggieri’s Gloria comprises soprano, alto, tenor and bass voices and strings in five parts (dividing the violas). Coro I has in addition two oboes, coro II a trumpet and an oboe. Soloists are extracted as needed. The variety of scoring among the individual movements is quite extraordinary. For example, in the fifth movement, ‘Domine Deus, rex coelestis’, each coro features a string component made up of two violas and cello and a vocal component made up of two sopranos and bass. The next movement, ‘Domine Fili unigenite’, is a three-way conversation between solo alto, two violins and two oboes.

Ruggieri is certainly one of those innumerable forgotten composers who is ‘worth hearing more of’. This Gloria is of interest and value not only for its obvious influence on Vivaldi and exemplification of the Venetian polychoral tradition but also for its intrinsic musical merit and remarkable originality.

And so we reach the end of our road. This is far from being the first ‘collected recorded edition’ of sacred music by Vivaldi – it has been preceded by ones from Vittorio Negri and Michel Corboz – but it is the first to apply (if one may be permitted so grandiloquent a phrase) ‘historically informed’ criteria, leavened, as always, by the imperative to communicate effectively with a modern audience. That there will be more music in the same category by Vivaldi to rediscover and perform in the future seems guaranteed. While this text was being written, I got wind of the mention, in an eighteenth-century catalogue, of a hitherto unknown Salve regina in E minor for solo alto by Vivaldi, already baptized ‘RV804’, that employs two transverse flutes as well as the usual strings and is therefore presumably a late work. All we now need is to find the music answering to that description – and we know from the case of RV803 that the source will not necessarily be so co-operative as to include ‘Vivaldi’ in its title!

from notes by Michael Talbot © 2004

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)  
'The King's Consort Collection' (KING7)
The King's Consort Collection
MP3 £4.50FLAC £4.50ALAC £4.50 KING7  Super-budget price sampler — Deleted  
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