Tuesday, December 11, 2012

National Chamber Orchestra Of Armenia: Vivaldi's 'Gloria'



National Chamber Orchestra Of Armenia, under the baton of R. Mlkeyan, performs Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria, RV 589; the singers are soprano M. Galoyan, soprano H. Harutyunova and mezzo-soprano N. Ananikyan. 

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Antonio Vivaldi's piece is one of the most-known pieces of sacred music written; for almost two centuries after the composer's death it remained forgotten and not performed. Peter Carey of the British Royal Free Singers writes in its programme notes some of its compelling history:
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi composed this Gloria in Venice, probably in 1715, for the choir of the Ospedale della Pietà, an orphanage for girls (or more probably a home, generously endowed by the girls' "anonymous" fathers, for the illegitimate daughters of Venetian noblemen and their mistresses). The Ospedale prided itself on the quality of its musical education and the excellence of its choir and orchestra. Vivaldi, a priest, music teacher and virtuoso violinist, composed many sacred works for the Ospedale, where he spent most of his career, as well as hundreds of instrumental concertos to be played by the girls’ orchestra. This, his most famous choral piece, presents the traditional Gloria from the Latin Mass in twelve varied cantata-like sections.
The wonderfully sunny nature of the Gloria, with its distinctive melodies and rhythms, is characteristic of all of Vivaldi’s music, giving it an immediate and universal appeal. The opening movement is a joyous chorus, with trumpet and oboe obligato. The extensive orchestral introduction establishes two simple motives, one of octave leaps, the orher a quicker, quaver - semiquaver figure, that function as the ritornello. The choir enters in chorale-like fashion, syllabically declaiming the text in regular rhythms, contrasting with the orchestral ritornello, which contains most of the melodic interest of the movement.