WORKS: Magnificat, RV610a; Lauda, Jerusalem, RV609; Kyrie eleison, RV587; Credo in unum Deum, RV591; Dixit Dominus, RV594
PERFORMER: Susan Gritton, Lisa Milne (soprano), Catherine Denley (alto), Lynton Atkinson (tenor), David Wilson-Johnson (bass)King’s Consort, Choir & Choristers/Robert King
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 66769 DDD
This release of sacred vocal music by Vivaldi looks like being another blockbuster from Robert King and his King’s Consort. Vol. 1 it is enticingly labelled, that is if you feel affectionately towards Vivaldi’s sacred music. I do, and welcome this focus on an area of his output which is known to most of us chiefly by the famous Gloria in D major (RV589). That work is yet to come, but here to whet your appetite are stylish and very well sung performances of the Magnificat (RV610a) and the later of two settings of the Vespers psalm Dixit Dominus (RV594).
As the leading Vivaldi scholar Michael Talbot remarks in his introductory note, Vivaldi, though not possessed of the musical gifts of a Bach or a Handel does express himself in a way that is entirely individual and unmistakable.
Well, yes, that’s what makes his music interesting and, with his talent, appealing, too. In the Dixit Dominus Vivaldi’s virtues are on display in abundance: affective word-painting, virtuoso vocal writing, colourful orchestration with trumpets, and individually characteristic rhythms and harmonic progressions. No less characteristic of the composer are the opening measures of the double choir Kyrie (RV587), one of three shorter choral pieces on the disc which complete a musically satisfying programme. Nicholas Anderson