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Cat. No. CHAN 0714 X Price: £7 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 0714 - Vivaldi: Laudate peuri, Dominum/ In furore iustissimae irae
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Available From: 11 October 2004
In furore iustissimae irae, RV 626 is a fine example of a solo motet for voice, strings and continuo. The original singer was almost certainly a castrato soprano. In this case, ‘authenticity’ is impossible to achieve today, but it is important to be aware that Vivaldi and his Italian contemporaries conceived solo vocal parts less in terms of generic types (soprano/ alto, male /female, dramatic/coloratura etc.) than according to the vocal qualities of the individual singers for whom they were first destined.

The Laudate pueri, RV 601 is the last of three settings of this Vesper psalm that Vivaldi composed. It contrasts with the earlier settings by being notably operatic in style.

The Concerto Madrigalesco’, RV 129, a concerto a quattro, belongs to Vivaldi’s large number of ‘novelty’ concertos. ‘Madrigalesque’ here means: ‘in the style of vocal polyphony’. In fact, all the movements, except possibly the third, are closely based on sections from Vivaldi’s sacred vocal compositions. To complicate matters, it is uncertain whether the vocal prototypes are not, in their turn, based on music by another composer!

The ‘Holy Sepulchre’ referred to in the Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro, RV 169 and the Suonata a quattro al Santo Sepolcro, RV 130 was probably a case containing the Host. That it was written to for a service around Lent is perhaps signalled by Vivaldi’s instruction to perform the work without organ or harpsichord accompaniment.

The last compositions that Vivaldi committed to print were a set of flute concertos and two volumes of violin concertos, Opp. 10–12. The final opus, Op. 12, contains, as its third work, a Concerto a quattro, RV 124 – sadly, the only one of its type that Vivaldi ever released in published form. It is a remarkably fine example of the genre.

Catherine Bott shows theres more Vivaldi beyond the Gloria…
Classic CD

The works presented here are those presumed to have been written c1708, at a time of the first flowering of Bach’s genius. They are stunningly marvellous, and the performances on this CD are highly accomplished.
International Record Review

The Purcell Quartet and their distinguished single-voice ‘chorus’ simply and refreshingly take as they find by relishing the intimate and heart-warming potential of reflective devotion which ‘Christ lag in Todesbanden’ and ‘Gottes Zeit’ (or Actus tragicus), the two best-known works here, offer. Throughout, the mixed group of singers and instrumentalists provide a lightness of touch where others might sink into despondent purplish textures. There is certainly less of the smouldering rhetoric of the rich palette of Continental ensembles and yet rarely has the stark trajectory from loneliness to hope been so intimately realised in ‘Christ lag’ – Bach’s first real masterpiece.

Catherine Botts ethereal soprano and the instrumental vitality of the ensemble prove a winning combination…
The Observer


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