Saturday, 1 March 2008

69. Antonio Vivaldi - Stabat Mater (1712)


Title: Vivaldi Sacred Music (volume 5)
Performer: Robin Blaze, The King's Consort
Director: Robert King
Year: 1998
Length: 19 minutes


Ok so we will stop with the Vivaldi after this, for a while at least. In the meantime we have another great vocal work by him. Unlike the Gloria, which was mainly a choral work, the Stabat Mater is for a soloist. And a male soloist at that, even if it is for a falsetto or castrato, and there for not a very manly man.

Vivaldi knows how to make music mimic emotions, and for this most painful of texts about Mary's suffering, he knows to leave out his regular giddiness and stick to the slow and sad areas of music.

Vivaldi does this extremely well, by using the instruments to mimic emotions, whether using staccato to mimic gasps of suffering or allying the voice to the violin in the more peaceful moments. A short vocal work, but great.

Final Grade

9/10 (there's been a spate of them!)


From Wikipedia:

The fate of the Italian composer's legacy is unique. After the Napoleonic wars, it was thought that a large part of Vivaldi's work had been irrevocably lost. However, in the autumn of 1926, after a detective-like search by researchers, 14 folios of Vivaldi's previously unknown religious and secular works were found in the library of a monastery in Piedmont. Some even and odd-numbered volumes were missing and so, the search continued. Finally, in October 1930, the missing volumes were found to be with the descendants of the Grand Duke Durazzo, who had acquired the property as early as the eighteenth century.

To its amazement, the world of music was presented with 300 concerts for various instruments, 18 operas, not counting a number of arias and more than 100 vocal-instrumental pieces. Such an impressive list of newly unearthed opuses warranted a re-evaluation of Vivaldi's creativity.

Thank you internet! Thank you... this is a pearl... :

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