Movement 01: Gloria in excelsis Deo
Movement 02: Et in terra pax
Robert Evans (bass), Jonathan Brown (bass), Elizabeth Poole (soprano), Robert Macdonald (bass), Charles Pott (bass), Charles Gibbs (bass), Adrian Peacock (bass), The King's Consort, Robert King (conductor)
Movement 03: Laudamus te
Julie Cooper (soprano), Cecilia Osmond (soprano), Daniel Auchincloss (tenor), The King's Consort, Robert King (conductor)
Movement 04: Gratias agimus tibi
Movement 05: Domine Deus, rex caelestis
Julie Cooper (soprano), Angharad Gruffydd Jones (soprano), Robert Evans (bass), Elizabeth Poole (soprano), Cecilia Osmond (soprano), Robert Macdonald (bass), The King's Consort, Robert King (conductor)
Movement 06: Domine Fili unigenite
Movement 07: Domine Deus, agnus Dei
Movement 08: Qui tollis peccata mundi
Movement 09: Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris
Julie Cooper (soprano), Robin Tyson (alto), Daniel Auchincloss (tenor), The King's Consort, Robert King (conductor)
Movement 10: Quoniam tu solus sanctus
Movement 11: Cum Sancto Spiritu
Each coro in Ruggieri’s Gloria comprises soprano, alto, tenor and bass voices and strings in five parts (dividing the violas). Coro I has in addition two oboes, coro II a trumpet and an oboe. Soloists are extracted as needed. The variety of scoring among the individual movements is quite extraordinary. For example, in the fifth movement, ‘Domine Deus, rex coelestis’, each coro features a string component made up of two violas and cello and a vocal component made up of two sopranos and bass. The next movement, ‘Domine Fili unigenite’, is a three-way conversation between solo alto, two violins and two oboes.
Ruggieri is certainly one of those innumerable forgotten composers who is ‘worth hearing more of’. This Gloria is of interest and value not only for its obvious influence on Vivaldi and exemplification of the Venetian polychoral tradition but also for its intrinsic musical merit and remarkable originality.
And so we reach the end of our road. This is far from being the first ‘collected recorded edition’ of sacred music by Vivaldi – it has been preceded by ones from Vittorio Negri and Michel Corboz – but it is the first to apply (if one may be permitted so grandiloquent a phrase) ‘historically informed’ criteria, leavened, as always, by the imperative to communicate effectively with a modern audience. That there will be more music in the same category by Vivaldi to rediscover and perform in the future seems guaranteed. While this text was being written, I got wind of the mention, in an eighteenth-century catalogue, of a hitherto unknown Salve regina in E minor for solo alto by Vivaldi, already baptized ‘RV804’, that employs two transverse flutes as well as the usual strings and is therefore presumably a late work. All we now need is to find the music answering to that description – and we know from the case of RV803 that the source will not necessarily be so co-operative as to include ‘Vivaldi’ in its title!
from notes by Michael Talbot © 2004