Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA66769

Credo, RV591

author of text
Ordinary of the Mass

King's Consort Choir, The King's Consort, Robert King (conductor)
Recording details: August 1994
St Jude-on-the-Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: April 1995
Total duration: 8 minutes 12 seconds


'Very special indeed… The ebullient notes come bouncing off the page and just when it seems that everyone is giving their stupendous all, Robert King manages to squeeze a little extra. A Dixit Dominus to sweep you off your feet. Volume 1 is going to be a hard act to follow' (Classic CD)

'The production values on this disc could hardly be bettered. I don't know what Hyperion is feeding their recording equipment but these are some contented cows and they produce pure Devonshire cream. This is deep sound, the kind the listener practically feels he can reach out and touch. There is scarcely a church or concert hall anywhere in the world with an ambience this sensual … One of the finest discs to have come my way this year. Look for this one on my year-end Want list. But don't wait till December, buy it now' (Fanfare, USA)

‘Lustrous, immaculate performances’ (The New Yorker, USA)
The Credo in E minor, RV591, is Vivaldi’s only sacred composition without solo voices to be in more than one movement. It is a companion piece to the Gloria, RV588 (the less well known of Vivaldi’s two settings), and dates from his ‘first’ period at the Pietà.

The text of the Creed is exceptionally long. Hence composers have always sought ways of compressing the delivery of the text so as not to allow this section of the Mass to overbalance the others. Vivaldi’s method, in the first movement, is to make the choir sing block chords against a background of repeated figurations on the violins. The choir and the strings thus inhabit two completely different ‘planes’, each sufficient in itself, which become superimposed on each other. The short ‘Et incarnatus est’ section expresses the mystery of the incarnation in a traditional manner, with slowly moving chords, often unexpected in their harmonic progressions. The central portion of the movement is based on one of Vivaldi’s favourite chord sequences (heard also at the start of the Kyrie and near the beginning of the Magnificat). Since the passage in question is in the remote key of G minor, Vivaldi has to exercise some ingenuity in fitting it inside a movement which begins in A minor and ends in D minor.

The jewel of the work is its ‘Crucifixus’. Traditionally such movements express grief and pain through chromaticism. In fact, the sharps which are written into the score for chromatically altered notes have the shape of crosses (in German they are actually called Kreuze) and therefore are able to express the meaning of the text through ‘eye music’. With great originality, Vivaldi adds another, less familiar, image: that of the slow walk to Calvary. This he does with even, detached notes in the bass. The sparseness of the vocal writing allows him to characterize each vocal part individually, almost as if four bystanders were commenting on the scene before them. The work ends with a movement structured similarly to the opening ‘Credo in unum Deum’, except that it concludes with a stirring fugato (‘Et vitam venturi … Amen’), one of whose subjects has a decidedly plainsong-like character.

from notes by Michael Talbot © 1994

Other albums featuring this work

Vivaldi: The Complete Sacred Music
CDS44171/8111CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...