Movement 1: Ascende laeta
Movement 2: Quam pulchri
Movement 3: Sternite, Angeli
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 © 2003