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Gloria! - Vivaldi's Angels / Maute, Ensemble Caprice


Release Date: 11/11/2008 
Label:  Analekta   Catalog #: 29917   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monika MauchShannon MercerMatthias MauteSophie Larivière
Conductor:  Matthias Maute
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Caprice
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



VIVALDI Gloria, RV 589. 1 Magnificat, RV 610. 2 In furore iustissiae irae. 3 Ostro picta. 4 Concerto in d, RV 535 5 Matthias Maute (rcr, 5 cond); Monika Mauch (sop);
Read more 1–3 Shannon Mercer (sop); 1,2, 4 Josée Lalonde (alt); 1,2 Sophie Larivière (rcr); 5 Ens Caprice (period instruments) ANALEKTA 29917 (66:17)


Do we really need another recording of Vivaldi’s most popular choral work, the much-recorded Gloria? There are 45 recordings listed at arkivmusic.com. The answer is yes, provided the recording has an interesting or new perspective to offer.


The four works presented here were written for the Ospedale della Pietà, the female orphanage where Vivaldi taught voice and violin. Although the scores for the two choral works on this recording, the Gloria and the Magnificat, are written for the traditional four voices from soprano to bass, we must wonder who could have supplied the tenor and bass voices for concerts given by the orphans. Boys were not admitted to the orphanage, and there were very few men among its staff. In his notes for this recording, conductor Matthias Maute states that the tenor and bass parts were sung by the girls of the Ospedale. Michael Talbot, who has written extensively on Vivaldi’s life and sacred music, agrees with this assertion. According to Talbot, the tenor line would have been sung at the written pitch, while the bass line would have been sung an octave higher.


Performance of these works by an all-female choir makes quite a difference in the sound of the music and its impact on the listener. Aside from the lighter sound texture produced by the choir, there is a harmonic difference as well. As conductor Maute points out, the “close harmony sound enhances the impact of dissonances considerably, because the intervals between the registers from soprano to bass are smaller than those of a choir of mixed gender.”


All of this would be for naught without good performances to back up the novelty of the concept. Fortunately, we have nothing to fear. Ensemble Caprice, consisting of 16 instrumentalists and 12 singers, gives strong, committed performances that are the equal of any I have heard. Maute’s conducting, like that of many practicing in the field of period instruments, tends to be a bit fast, but his tempos are never exaggerated or beyond what could be considered reasonable. I was not previously acquainted with the work of the soloists, who also sing with the choir; this often-difficult music gives them no trouble, and their performances are comparable to the work of the soloists in Robert King’s performances on Hyperion, the standard by which recordings of these works should be judged. The performances of the two solo motets, though they do not provide a new listening experience, are on the same high level as the two choral works. The Concerto, RV 535, was written for two oboes but is here performed on two recorders instead. The performance is an effective showcase of the high level of playing of the orchestra, as well as the two soloists.


Texts and translations are not provided in the CD booklet but are available online at analekta.com. For its fresh perspective on the performance of Vivaldi’s choral music, this recording is required listening.


FANFARE: Ron Salemi
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Works on This Recording

1.
Gloria in D major, RV 589 by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Matthias Maute
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Caprice
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 23 Minutes 15 Secs. 
2.
In furore giustissimae irae in C minor, RV 626 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Monika Mauch (Soprano)
Conductor:  Matthias Maute
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Caprice
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 12 Minutes 25 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for 2 Flutes in C major, RV 533 by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Matthias Maute
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Caprice
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
4.
Magnificat in G minor, RV 611 by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Matthias Maute
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Caprice
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
5.
Ostro picta in D major, RV 642 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Shannon Mercer (Soprano)
Conductor:  Matthias Maute
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Caprice
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 7 Minutes 15 Secs. 
6.
Concerto for 2 Oboes in D minor, RV 535 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Matthias Maute (Recorder), Sophie Larivière (Recorder)
Conductor:  Matthias Maute
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 8 Minutes 12 Secs. 
7.
Magnificat in G minor, RV 610 by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Matthias Maute
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
Length: 10 Minutes 12 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

Gloria: I. Gloria in excelsis Deo
Magnificat: II. Et exultavit

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