Hyperion Records

In exitu Israel, RV604
With its twenty-seven verses (not including the two comprising the Lesser Doxology), Psalm 113 In exitu Israel (Psalms 114 and 115 combined in Protestant bibles) has always proved a handful for composers. In opting to set it for choir alone in a single, continuously running movement, Vivaldi took a very rational decision, even if, in his haste to complete the movement, he managed to confuse verse 4 with verse 6, thereby accidentally skipping a couple of verses.

RV604 belongs to the group of psalms Vivaldi wrote for Easter Sunday at the Pietà in 1739. It survives not only in Turin but also in the fragments of the Pietà’s repertory today preserved at the Conservatorio di Musica ‘Benedetto Marcello’ in Venice. It is amusing to see, from the parts copied out for their own use by the Pietà’s musicians, that they had just as much difficulty as we sometimes have today in deciphering Vivaldi’s intentions.

The composer does his best to keep the musical interest alive in this 97-bar movement. He varies the accompanimental patterns on the violins, changes key in effective and sometimes surprising ways, and utilizes different kinds of vocal texture (albeit without ever foregoing a pervasive homophony). Imitating the structure of the Psalm’s verses, he sometimes adopts a responsorial style in which the solo sopranos alone are answered by the full choir. Word-painting is rarely encountered. Because of its deliberate simplicity, this setting shows few differences from the comparable pieno settings from the ‘first’ period, RV606 and 607, which were composed over twenty years earlier.

from notes by ©

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Details for CDA66809 track 21
Recording date
14 July 2000
Recording venue
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Ben Turner
Recording engineer
Philip Hobbs
Hyperion usage
  1. Vivaldi: Sacred Music, Vol. 6 (CDA66809)
    Disc 1 Track 21
    Release date: November 2000
  2. Vivaldi: The Complete Sacred Music (CDS44171/81)
    Disc 7 Track 21
    Release date: October 2005
    11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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