Hyperion Records

Ascende laeta, RV635
composer
c1715
author of text

Recordings
'Vivaldi: Sacred Music, Vol. 9' (CDA66839)
Vivaldi: Sacred Music, Vol. 9
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66839  Archive Service; also available on CDS44171/81   Download currently discounted
'Vivaldi: The Complete Sacred Music' (CDS44171/81)
Vivaldi: The Complete Sacred Music
Buy by post £40.00 CDS44171/81  11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
Details
Movement 1: Ascende laeta
Track 16 on CDA66839 [4'12] Archive Service; also available on CDS44171/81
Track 16 on CDS44171/81 CD10 [4'12] 11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 2: Quam pulchri
Track 17 on CDA66839 [1'06] Archive Service; also available on CDS44171/81
Track 17 on CDS44171/81 CD10 [1'06] 11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 3: Sternite, Angeli
Track 18 on CDA66839 [4'09] Archive Service; also available on CDS44171/81
Track 18 on CDS44171/81 CD10 [4'09] 11CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Ascende laeta, RV635
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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 İ 2003

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