Movement 01: Dixit Dominus
Movement 02: Donec ponam
Movement 03: Virgam virtutis tuae
Movement 04: Tecum principium
Movement 05: Iuravit Dominus
Movement 06: Dominus a dextris tuis
Lynton Atkinson (tenor), David Wilson-Johnson (baritone), The King's Consort, Robert King (conductor)
Movement 07: Iudicabit in nationibus
Movement 08: De torrente in via
Movement 09: Gloria
Movement 10: Sicut erat in principio
The ‘Dominus a dextris tuis’ is cast as an energetic duo for tenor and bass. The notion of the Lord ‘striking through kings in the day of his wrath’ is brought out vividly by some virtuosic coloratura passages. For the Day of Judgement (‘Iudicabit in nationibus’) Vivaldi brings back the two trumpets, which begin the movement with seven unaccompanied bars exploring almost the whole of the instrument’s practical compass. Later on, rapid string figurations add greatly to the drama as the Lord continues his work of retribution and destruction.
The alto solo ‘De torrente in via’ brings a welcome touch of peaceful lyricism (semiquaver triplets evoke the rippling of the brook) before an abridged version of the opening movement ushers in the Doxology (‘Gloria Patri’). Vivaldi’s setting of the second part of the Doxology (‘Sicut erat in principio … Amen’) is his most elaborate essay in fugal counterpoint. The eight vocal parts are kept independent throughout, and in many passages the instruments, too, have separate parts. The eight-bar fugue subject, which begins with the ‘germinal motive’, is identical in shape to the opening of the bass in Bach’s ‘Goldberg’ Variations. In fact, this was a popular chaconne bass of the time. The fugal treatment, which causes the ‘bass’ often to migrate to the upper voices, heightens the sense of monumentality and provides a thrilling climax.
from notes by Michael Talbot © 1994