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Description du produit
Description du produit
Vivaldi's only surviving oratorio here receives a rare recording, and this stunning performance (recorded after a London concert, and the only truly 'authentic' version available) is sure to become the definitive version for years to come. The work was written for the Pietà, the famous girls' orphanage in Venice where Vivaldi was Music Director and for which much of his music was composed, and with an almost unlimited range of instruments and instrumentalists at his disposal Vivaldi truly indulged his fondness for instrumental colour throughout the many arias, the all-female cast are accompanied variously by chalumeau, early clarinets, viole all'inglese, viola d'amore and four theorbos, in addition to the instruments of the expected baroque orchestra. Though the extant work opens with a rousing and virtuosic chorus, in this performance Robert King prefaces it with the first two movements of Vivaldi's colourful Concerto (RV555) as it is certain the work would have commenced with an overture, now lost.
ECHO AWARD, GERMANY 'Lyricism in abundance and some truly extraordinary scoring. Robert King's direction revels in such novelties and he has a skillful team of players to realise the ravishing beauties of the score' (The Times) 'A stunning cast, orchestra and choir' (BBC Music magazine) 'Hugely enjoyable … excellent soloists…masterly recording' (Classic CD) 'Although it comes as Vol IV of King's projected complete recording of Vivaldi's sacred music, this allegorical oratorio - Judith's murder of Holofernes representing Venice's triumph over the Ottoman hordes - seems to belong to the opera house rather than the church. Vivaldi wrote it in 1716 for the youthful female virtuosi of the Ospedal della Pieta: the vocal writing requires both astonishing agility and rare intensity; and he asks for an extravagant instrumentarium, including clarinets, a chalumeau, mandolin and violas 'all' inglese'. The choruses that open and close the oratorio and punctuate the sequence of glorious arias have a thrilling martial éclat. The soloists are wonderful: Ann Murray's Judith, beguiling and brilliant, marks her return to form, and her bright mezzo contrasts well with the velvet alto of Susan Bickley as Holofernes. Maria Cristina Kiehr - in the only soprano role, Vagaus - gets the lion's share of the bravura numbers and sings them superlatively well. Another revelatory issue from Hyperion' (The Sunday Times) 'Magnificent. Unquestionably a masterpiece that bridles with invention from start to finish. A feat of supreme singing and intensely dramatic projection. Superlative recorded sound that in its combination of warmth, depth and immediacy, conveys the supeme quality of the performance with devastating Impact. This is not only the finest recording I've encountered this year, but one of the great recordings of the decade. There is no justice if it does not pick up awards galore' (Fanfare, USA) 'A wonderful piece of dramatic music that receives superb treatment at the hands of The King's Consort and soloists. An absolutely vital release and one of the best recordings I've heard this year' --(American Record Guide)
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Yes Robert King's reading is overall more measured, or static than the more recent recording by de Marchi, which is more lively and dramatic, but still I like King's recording better. It may well be because I like Maria Cristina Kiehr's voice very much, or because the choir is more reserved, subdued and pastoral sounding. Or maybe because King treats Vivaldi's oratorio as one written by Handel? Or maybe because I like the tempi King chooses for individual arias and chorals better? Take the aria "Matrona inimica" for instance, King treats it as a simple, lovely pastoral song, with a hint of melancholy. Every other version I heard was more rhythmic, more like you would play a Vivaldi concerto. Probably King is wrong here and should it performed less vocal and legato, but his way adds more depth and more emotional 'weight'. Kiehr sings it wonderful! The sound I definitely like better. The newer Naive recording has too much reverb, which makes some passages rather heavy and sluggish, no matter the tempi de Marchi takes.
The work is a real gem by Vivaldi. Connolly gave a very well-presented Alba and Murray a convincing Judith.
I am glad that none of the artists in this set gave over-dramatised accounts in the coloraturas.
Even so, the only soprano role in the oratorio gave a highly dramatically charged aria after discovering the death of the King Holfernes.
Since I got this disc, I obtained several pieces of the arias and started to sing them, too.
Vivaldi's music is really sublime!