Vivaldi/Galuppi

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COMPOSERS: Vivaldi/Galuppi
LABELS: Archiv
ALBUM TITLE: Vivaldi/Galuppi
WORKS: Dixit Dominus, RV 807
PERFORMER: Roberta Invernizzi, Lucia Cirillo (soprano), Sara Mingardo (mezzo-soprano), Paul Agnew, Thomas Cooley (tenor), Sergio Foresti, Georg Zeppenfeld (bass); Körnerscher Sing-Verein Dresden; Dresdener Instrumental-Concert/Peter Kopp
CATALOGUE NO: 477 6145
Vivaldi discoveries are not infrequent. Only recently a significant amount of music for his opera Motezuma came to light, and was recorded by Archiv (reviewed in April). Perhaps of greater musical interest are two psalm settings which the Australian musicologist Janice Stockigt unearthed in Dresden in 2002 and which have been authenticated by the Vivaldi scholar Michael Talbot. One of these, the Nisi Dominus in A major, has already been issued in the tenth volume of Hyperion’s survey of Vivaldi’s sacred music. The other, a third D major setting by the composer of the Vespers psalm Dixit Dominus, appears here on disc for the first time. It is a splendid piece: with scoring including woodwind and trumpet, it begins with a brief but dazzling chorus and concludes with a rewardingly worked fugue. Among the several intervening sections, a duet for two tenors, highly ornamented and vivaciously sung by Paul Agnew and Thomas Cooley, the chorus ‘Juravit Dominus’ and a contralto aria, whose gently undulating string accompaniment lends colour to the textual imagery, are especially gratifying. This last-mentioned is sung with sensibility by Sara Mingardo.

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The three remaining works are by Galuppi, who was a generation younger than Vivaldi and from whose vocal collection the Nisi Dominus and the Dixit Dominus were identified. Galuppi’s idiom is unfailingly elegant and pleasing to the senses, and as such is a faithful reflection of the galant taste of his time. Its juxtaposition with the Dixit, though, serves to emphasise Vivaldi’s more sensitive responses, his greater imagination and more striking individuality in the setting of sacred texts. Alert performances all round under Peter Kopps’ vital direction, though I find the acoustic a touch too reverberent. Nicholas Anderson