Another CD in the “nice for Christmas without being Christmassy” vein, and you can impress your friends with your erudition, saying: “Ah, yes, Vivaldi, seen as a one-hit wonder because of his big album Four Seasons but actually a prolific composer across a variety of genres”. The cover’s got Latin on, too.
Antonio Vivaldi wrote many sacred choral pieces and around 40 cantatas, much of this for the soloists and choir at a girls’ orphanage in Venice where he worked and taught. (He also wrote 40 operas, sinfonias and concertos).
The Ospedale della Pietà might have been an orphanage but it was famed for its music and the title piece In Turbato Mare Irato was written to show off the soloists’ talents.
Vestro Principi Divino, on the other hand, is less demanding and simpler — though, of course, composers made money selling their sheet music and presumably the easier pieces sold better. There was a place in the world for both Mariah Carey and Madonna then as now.
Last week’s album, Klaus Mertens and Accademia Daniels’ Der Herr Ist Konig was firmly in the baroque church music mode, whereas this is more operatic and formal; more concert hall than church. The lyrics are from the Old Testament, so written by God, more or less.
The CD features soprano Claire de Sévigné, and mezzo-soprano Maria Soulis, and the Aradia Ensemble.
Out now on Naxos, 8.573324.