Vivaldi – Gloria (RV 589) – The English Concert

The English Concert and Choir perform Antonio Vivaldi’s hymn Gloria in excelsis Deo, which words date probably from the 4th Century and which is an integral part of the Ordinary of the Mass. Conductor: Trevor Pinnock. Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, December 1992.


Vivaldi wrote wrote at least three settings of the hymn Gloria in excelsis Deo and two survive: RV 588 and RV 589. A third, RV 590, is mentioned only in the Kreuzherren catalogue and presumed lost. RV 589 Gloria is a familiar and popular piece among sacred works by Vivaldi. It was probably written at about the same time as the RV 588, possibly in 1715.

RV 589 is the best known setting of the Gloria, simply known as the Vivaldi “Gloria” due to its outstanding popularity. This piece, along with its mother composition RV 588, was composed at the same time during Vivaldi’s employment at the Pieta.

Movements

  1. Gloria in excelsis Deo (Chorus)
  2. Et in terra pax (Chorus)
  3. Laudamus te (Sopranos I and II)
  4. Gratias agimus tibi (Chorus)
  5. Propter magnam gloriam (Chorus)
  6. Domine Deus (Soprano)
  7. Domine, Fili unigenite (Chorus)
  8. Domine Deus, Agnus Dei (Contralto and Chorus)
  9. Qui tollis peccata mundi (Chorus)
  10. Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris (Contralto)
  11. Quoniam tu solus sanctus (Chorus)
  12. Cum Sancto Spiritu (Chorus)

The English Concert

The English Concert
The English Concert

The English Concert is a baroque orchestra playing on period instruments based in London. Founded in 1972 and directed from the harpsichord by Trevor Pinnock for 30 years, it is now directed by harpsichordist Harry Bicket. Nadja Zwiener has been orchestra leader (concertmaster) since September 2007 (as of February 2015).

The Choir of the English Concert (or permutations of that phrase), was formed in 1983 to perform Rameau’s Acante et Céphise. It continued assembling as needed for recordings and performances with the group until the mid-1990s, when the decision was made to make it a regular choir on a level with the orchestra, in preparation for their performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Performances of oratorios and large-scale vocal works became more common after this. Rather than use established soloists in the arias and solo sections of these works, the choir was thought to be so good that the soloist material was shared amongst the regular members, a practice that Andrew Manze continued.

Sources

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