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Sanctorum meritis, RV620

'Vivaldi: Sacred Music, Vol. 8' (CDA66829)
Vivaldi: Sacred Music, Vol. 8
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66829  Archive Service; also available on CDS44171/81   Download currently discounted
'Vivaldi: The Complete Sacred Music' (CDS44171/81)
Vivaldi: The Complete Sacred Music
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Track 18 on CDA66829 [2'18] Archive Service; also available on CDS44171/81
Track 18 on CDS44171/81 CD9 [2'18] 11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Sanctorum meritis, RV620
This unpretentious setting is of a hymn belonging in the liturgy to the Common of Two or More Martyrs. To take just two examples, it would be appropriate for Vespers of the feast of SS. John and Paul or of SS. Cosmas and Damian. It seems to date from the 1720s, and its original destination is unknown.

The hymn has six stanzas, of which Vivaldi sets only the first, third and sixth. In typical fashion, each stanza has the same music and is preceded by an identical instrumental ritornello. This ritornello illustrates Vivaldi’s fondness for grouping phrases in threes rather than twos; its twelve bars subdivide as 4 + 4 + 4.

Everything about this setting is simple, but Vivaldi rescues it from banality by his use of lightly syncopated (‘sawing’) rhythms. By such discreet means, he is able to turn artlessness into something genuinely artistic.

from notes by Michael Talbot © 2002

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