A program of sacred music by Vivaldi which should touch, if not melt, the hardest of hearts, all directed with style and conviction by Trevor Pinnock.
Trevor Pinnock and Michael Chance have devised a programme of sacred music by Vivaldi which should touch, if not melt, the hardest of hearts. Its mainstays are the celebrated Stabat mater, the Vesper psalm Nisi Dominus, and a Salve regina which features two orchestral groups, with a flute and a pair of recorders providing additional colour in Orchestra I, supporting the voice. Interspersed with these are two small-scale orchestral pieces for strings - a ripieno Concerto in D minor (RV128), and the much better known Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro (RV 169).
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Michael Chance is an expressive interpreter of Vivaldi's vocal music and brings out the affecting pathos which pervades each of the three pieces. The earliest of them is the Stabat mater for which Vivaldi intended a male rather than female voice. The Nisi Dominus, on the other hand, was composed for one of Vivaldi's gifted pupils at the Venetian Ospedale della Pietà. For whom and for where the Salve regina was written is not known. Notwithstanding a bias towards pathetic utterance this is music of considerable variety. Some of the movements have rhythmic vigour while others derive interest from tenderly wrought inflexions, vocal and instrumental, and the colourful allure of Vivaldi's instrumental palette. There are beguiling instances of this, above all perhaps in the Nisi Dominus whose "Gloria Patri" is delicately partnered by an obbligato viola d'amore. There are marvellous moments, too, of affective word painting such as that which colours the "Cum dederit dilectis suis somnum" ("For so he giveth his beloved sleep"). Chance and The English Concert perform this movement with sensibility and restraint, choosing an ideal tempo for it. Chance's declamation comes across clearly and without the intrusive mannerisms that so bedevil the voices of stalwart adherents to the English cathedral tradition. While, on the other hand, it lacks the luxuriance of Andreas Scholl, who recorded the Stabat mater so successfully for Harmonia Mundi, the lighter tone, vocal clarity and faultless intonation bring their own rewards. All is directed with style and conviction by Trevor Pinnock. The English Concert are on splendid form here, with erstwhile member Monica Huggett contributing a lyrically expressive viola d'amore solo in the Nisi Dominus. Full documentation and a clear, resonant recorded sound contribute towards a thoroughly rewarding release. Recommended without reservation.
Marvellous.June 29, 2012By Riccardo Conte (Roma, Italy)See All My Reviews"I have already know this CD and I have lost it, I'm very grateful to Arkiv Music to produce it again. I found it very beautiful as executed, and the list of pieces it's a very good sequence."Report Abuse