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Vivaldi: Dixit Dominus / Mingardo, Agnew, Kopp


Release Date: 06/13/2006 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 000649402   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Baldassare GaluppiAntonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Paul AgnewSergio ForestiThomas CooleySara Mingardo,   ... 
Conductor:  Peter Kopp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Instrumental ConcertKörnerscher Sing-Verein Dresden
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The thrill of the discovery of a Vivaldi masterpiece added to first recordings of the fine Galuppi psalm settings, all in such exhilarating and superbly executed performances, certainly makes this one of the musical events of the year.

One Vivaldi “discovery” among my present reviewing assignments is unusual (see also Motezuma); two starts to look distinctly like a crowd. However, unlike Motezuma, Dixit Dominus, assigned the RV number 807, really is a new discovery, and one that has caused great excitement among Vivaldi scholars. The story behind the emergence of Dixit Dominus is related by Michael Talbot, the doyen of Vivaldi scholars, in the booklet notes for this first recording. With characteristic modesty, Talbot
Read more underplays his own part in the discovery, initially made by the Australian scholar Janice Stockigt during the course of research in the Saxon State Library in Dresden. The manuscript had arrived in Dresden some time during the 1750s or 1760s as part of an order for liturgical music made by the Catholic Dresden court. It seems the Venetian supplier had duped Dresden by misattributing four of Vivaldi’s works to Galuppi, now the fashionable name in Venetian music. Not only is this a fascinating illustration of how musical taste had changed around the middle of the century, but given the great popularity of Vivaldi’s music in Dresden only 25 years previously, there is neat irony in the story.

There can be no question that the emergence of RV 807 is a major event—Talbot, not a man given to hyperbole, considers it the “best non-operatic work” of Vivaldi to be found since the discovery in the 1920s of what is now the Turin collection—while others have been less guarded in their enthusiasm. Planned on a large scale, each verse is a separate movement, much the same as Vivaldi’s other settings of the Vespers Psalm 109/110, RV 594, and RV 595. As Talbot notes, the similarity of certain movements of RV 807 with the two familiar settings goes far toward establishing the authenticity of the authorship of the work. The scoring is elaborate: an orchestra consisting of strings, two oboes, bassoon, and, in “Judicabit in nationibus” (No. 7), a solo trumpet, and vocal forces of SSAATT soloists with chorus.

As a glance at the list of soloists quickly reveals, Archiv have gone to no little trouble in assembling a star-studded lineup of soloists for this premiere recording. They’ve been justly rewarded with an electrifying performance. Peter Kopp and his Dresden forces have been responsible for some exceptionally impressive work for Carus recently (my review of a splendid recording of music by the Dresden composer Homilius appeared in Fanfare 29:5), and here they seize the chance of elevation to a major label with both hands. The thrilling opening has both orchestra and chorus playing and singing as if their lives depended on it. “Donec ponam” brings a spine-tingling unison at the word “scabellum,” “Juravit Dominus” swings compellingly between sustained notes and rapid passage work, “Judicabit” brings powerful choral interjections interspersed with a duet for the two sopranos and thrilling dramatic impetus at the words “implebit ruinas,” while the final fugal “Amen” forms a glorious peroration. No less remarkable are the solo contributions, among them Roberta Invernizzi’s “Virgam virtutis,” a liquidly flowing movement sung with real expression and soaring tonal beauty, the gently evocative “De torrente,” with its undulating part for alto (Sara Mingardo) underpinned by rustling strings, and “Tecum principium,” a remarkably florid duet for two tenors, superbly negotiated by Paul Agnew and Thomas Cooley. One just hopes that we will not now be subjected to a rush of recordings of RV 807. In the face of this magnificent performance, only the very best will do.

Archiv is also to be congratulated for not taking the easy option of filling out the remaining two-thirds of the disc with more Vivaldi. Instead, what better than to give us some of the genuine Galuppi sacred works that were sent to Dresden? It also makes for an appropriate tribute to “Il Buranello,” the man from Burano, the 300th anniversary of whose birth has inevitably been overshadowed by the celebrations accorded a rather better known figure. Like Dixit Dominus, all three are, of course, Vespers psalms that provide a fascinating contrast with Vivaldi’s work. Rhythms are clear-cut, the phrasing is more obviously periodic—incorporating a greater degree of contrast and modulation, while the choral writing is largely homophonic. Later tendencies are also apparent in the greater inclination to introduce solos into choral movements, especially striking in the opening movement of Laetatus sum, where the chorus is three times interrupted by a duet or solo. The most striking of the three psalms is the C-Minor Nisi Dominus, which incorporates two extended da capo soprano arias with cadenza, the first, “Sicut sagittae,” a floridly vivid depiction of the “arrows in the hand of the mighty,” the second, a flowing cantabile on the opening words of the Doxology (Gloria Patri) that has more than a hint of the elaborate Neapolitan church style that infiltrated Europe. Both are supremely well sung by Invernizzi, who, in addition to a ravishing mezza voce, treats us to a perfectly turned trill in the cadenza. Otherwise, the performances are fully equal to that of the Vivaldi, with the modestly sized choir again producing some wonderfully vibrant, full-throated singing. One hopes that this will not be the only time Archiv employs Peter Kopp and his superb Dresden forces, or that they record Vivaldi; the work here is light years superior to some of the high-profile names currently churning out Vivaldi CDs.

The shortlist for my Want List is already overflowing beyond bursting point, but this tremendous disc is going to have to be added to it. The thrill of the discovery of a Vivaldi masterpiece added to first recordings of the fine Galuppi psalm settings, all in such exhilarating and superbly executed performances, certainly makes this one of the musical events of the year.

FANFARE: Brian Robins Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Nisi dominus by Baldassare Galuppi
Performer:  Paul Agnew (Tenor), Sergio Foresti (Bass), Thomas Cooley (Tenor),
Sara Mingardo (Alto), Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano), George Zeppenfeld (Bass),
Lucia Cirillo (Soprano)
Conductor:  Peter Kopp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Instrumental Concert,  Körnerscher Sing-Verein Dresden
Period: Classical 
Written: 1777; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/2006 
Venue:  Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 23 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
2.
Laetatus sum by Baldassare Galuppi
Performer:  Thomas Cooley (Tenor), Sara Mingardo (Alto), Paul Agnew (Tenor),
Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano), Lucia Cirillo (Soprano), Sergio Foresti (Bass),
George Zeppenfeld (Bass)
Conductor:  Peter Kopp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Instrumental Concert,  Körnerscher Sing-Verein Dresden
Period: Classical 
Date of Recording: 01/2006 
Venue:  Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 10 Minutes 2 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
3.
Dixit Dominus, RV 807 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Paul Agnew (Tenor), Lucia Cirillo (Soprano), George Zeppenfeld (Bass),
Sergio Foresti (Bass), Sara Mingardo (Alto), Thomas Cooley (Tenor),
Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano)
Conductor:  Peter Kopp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Instrumental Concert,  Körnerscher Sing-Verein Dresden
Period: Baroque 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/2006 
Venue:  Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 23 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
4.
Lauda Jerusalem by Baldassare Galuppi
Performer:  Paul Agnew (Tenor), Sergio Foresti (Bass), Lucia Cirillo (Soprano),
Thomas Cooley (Tenor), Sara Mingardo (Alto), Roberta Invernizzi (Soprano),
George Zeppenfeld (Bass)
Conductor:  Peter Kopp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Instrumental Concert,  Körnerscher Sing-Verein Dresden
Period: Classical 
Written: 1779; Italy 
Date of Recording: 01/2006 
Venue:  Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 10 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: Latin 

Featured Sound Samples

Dixit Dominus (Vivaldi): I. Dixit Dominus
Dixit Dominus (Vivaldi): II. Donec ponam inimicos tuos
Lauda Jerusalem (Galuppi): I. Lauda Jerusalem

Sound Samples

Nisi Dominus
Lauda Jerusalem
Laetatus sum
Dixit Dominus, R. 807: Dixit Dominus
Dixit Dominus, R. 807: Donec ponam inimicos tuos
Dixit Dominus, R. 807: Virgam virtuis tuae
Dixit Dominus, R. 807: Tecum principium
Dixit Dominus, R. 807: Juravit Dominus
Dixit Dominus, R. 807: Dominus a dextris tuis
Dixit Dominus, R. 807: Judicabit in nationibus
Dixit Dominus, R. 807: De torrente in via bibet
Dixit Dominus, R. 807: Gloria Patri et Filio
Dixit Dominus, R. 807: Sicut era in principio
Dixit Dominus, R. 807: Et in saecula saeculorum
Laetatus sum: Fiat pax
Laetatus sum: Propter fratres meos
Laetatus sum: Gloria Patri et Figlio / Sicut erat
Nisi Dominus: Vanum est nobis
Nisi Dominus: Cum dederit
Nisi Dominus: Sicut sagitte
Nisi Dominus: Beatus vir
Nisi Dominus: Gloria Patri et Figlio
Nisi Dominus: Sicut erat
Lauda Jerusalem: Quoniam confortavit
Lauda Jerusalem: Qui posuit fines
Lauda Jerusalem: Qui emittit
Lauda Jerusalem: Emittit verbum
Lauda Jerusalem: Qui annuntiat
Lauda Jerusalem: Gloria Patri et Figlio / Sicut era

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 New Vivaldi November 19, 2013 By Catriel B. (Toronto, ON) See All My Reviews "Most people are not familiar with Vivaldi's religious vocal music, which is very different from his instrumental music -- the Four Seasons or any of his hundreds other concerti. This "new" Vivaldi piece absolutely follows his other religious vocal compositions, in short (3-4)minute expositions of each text sentence. Vivaldi also has a different harmonic and melodic "norm" for this genre that is also exhibited in this RV 807, especially the cadentiel endings so typical of his vocal works. But for me the real "meat" on this CD are the three Galuppi works, especially the Nisi Dominus. Galuppi has his feet in the Baroque and his head in the emerging classical style. He sounds very much like I assume Vivaldi would have had he (Vivaldi) been born only 20 years later. To be honest I actually enjoy the Galuppi more than the Vivaldi, perhaps because his works are so unknown, but so beautiful and full of vocal joy. The performers and performances are superb, and shine a bright light on these four works -- I cannot imagine a better presentation of these works!" Report Abuse
 Attractive music, but not by Vivaldi October 19, 2012 By George Leigh (Alderley, Queensland) See All My Reviews "The advertised work, Dixit Dominus, is clearly not by Vivaldi, as should be obvious to musicologists if they could ever learn to study music with their ears instead of their eyes. The "composer" has evidently studied Vivaldi's work, imitated Vivaldi's style, and stolen many of his parts. The bass and the counterpoint are faulty, and there are too many parts, which makes the music sound noisy, something Vivaldi *never* did. That said, the other items on the disc, which are by Galuppi, are very attractive, and make one see why Galuppi was so famous in his day. The recording quality and the performances are good, and the singers' voice production and intonation are excellent." Report Abuse
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