Viva Vivaldi! A very beautiful concert: Cecilia Bartoli, Italian coloratura mezzo-soprano opera singer & recitalist and “Il Giardino Armonico” (English: “The Harmonious Garden”), the Italian early music ensemble founded by Giovanni Antonini. Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris. Conducted by: Giovanni Antonini. Directed by: Brian Large.
Viva Vivaldi! Programme
With starting times in the video:
1. Di due rai languir costante (Foà 28)
Di due rai languir costante is an aria from Volume 28 in Turin’s so-called “Foà Collection” (Foà 28) that contains 47 operatic arias or ensembles composed by Antonio Vivaldi between 1717 and 1721.
Foà 28 is widely considered a treasure trove of arias for different voices and different dramatic situations.
2. Siam navi all’onde algenti (L’Olimpiade)
Premiered in Venice on 17 February 1734 at the Teatro San Angelo in the beautiful Venice (today the four-star Hotel NH Collection Palazzo Barocci), L’Olimpiade (The Olympiad, RV 725) is a dramma per musica (Italian, literally: drama for music) in three acts that was composed by Antonio Vivaldi.
The opera uses an Italian libretto by the Italian poet and librettist Pietro Metastasio (3 January 1698 – 12 April 1782) which was originally written for the Italian Baroque composer Antonio Caldara’s (1670 – 28 December 1736) 1733 opera of the same name.
The same libretto was to be later set to music by over 50 other composers, starting from Giovanni Battista Pergolesi in 1735.
The aria Siam navi all’onde algenti (means We are ships, to the icy waves) is from act 2.
3. Non ti lusinghi la crudeltade (Tito Manlio)
Tito Manlio, RV 738 is an opera in three acts by Antonio Vivaldi, to a libretto by the Italian poet Matteo Noris (1640-1714).
The opera was written in celebration of the marriage of Philip of Hesse-Darmstadt (1671-1736), the governor of Mantua, a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy, which he had announced at Christmas.
Vivaldi quickly composed the opera within five days. Whereas the wedding eventually did not take place at all, the opera was successfully premiered at the Teatro Arciducale “detto il Comico” in Mantua during the carnival season of 1719.
The aria Non ti lusinghi la crudeltade, means “Don’t flatter yourself with cruelty” in English, from Act II.
4. Gelosia (Ottone in Villa)
Ottone in villa (Otho at his villa, RV 729) is an opera in three acts by Antonio Vivaldi to an Italian libretto by the Italian poet and librettist Domenico Lalli (the pseudonym of Sebastiano Biancardi, 27 March 1679 – 9 October 1741). It was Vivaldi’s first opera and premiered on 17 May 1713 at the Teatro delle Grazie in Vicenza.
The aria Gelosia is from Act 1, Scene 11.
5. Concerto in C for Flautino
Written in 1728-29, Concerto in C Major for Flautino, RV 443 is a concerto by Antonio Vivaldi in three movements:
- Allegro molto
6. Domine Deus (Gloria)
Antonio Vivaldi wrote at least three settings of the hymn Gloria in Excelsis Deo and two of them survived: RV 588, and RV 589. A third, RV 590, is mentioned only in the Kreuzherren catalog and presumed lost.
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, possibly in 1715.
Domine Deus (Gloria) is the sixth aria in Gloria, RV 589.
7. Armatae face et anguibus (Juditha triumphans)
Juditha triumphans devicta Holofernis barbarie (Judith triumphant over the barbarians of Holofernes), RV 644, is an oratorio by Antonio Vivaldi.
8. Zeffiretti, che sussurrate (Foà 28)
9. Concerto in D for Lute
Vivaldi wrote the piece in the 1730s, a period in which he wrote two of his other works featuring the lute, the trios for violin, and lute in G minor and C major.
There are three movements:
- Allegro: The first movement is in a fast tempo and begins with a ritornello played by the entire orchestra and then repeated by the solo lute. According to AllMusic critic Brian Robins, the ritornello “contrasts a tuneful opening theme with a more lyrical motif in the minor mode.” During the movement, the solo lute plays melodies in contrast to the ritornello. The movement consists of several sections, almost all of which incorporate a portion of the ritornello melody.
- Largo: The second movement also consists of several sections. Robins describes this movement as a “reflective meditation by the soloist” against accompaniment by the violins and pizzicato bass. Robins praises the movement’s “exquisitely simple shift from triple to duple meter.”
- Allegro: The final movement is another fast movement in a 6/8 time signature which Robins describes as having “a bit of tarantella-like feel.” The soloist also has the option of playing the half notes in the movement using a more vigorous 12/8 time signature.
10. Gelido in ogni vena (Farnace)
Farnace is an opera, set to a libretto by the Italian librettist Antonio Maria Lucchini (Venice, c. 1690 – Venice, before 1730) initially set by Leonardo Vinci in 1724. Vivaldi’s setting received its first performance in 1727 at the Teatro Sant’Angelo in Venice.
In the aria, Vivaldi borrows lavishly from his Winter concerto from the Four Seasons for the introduction and ritornelli.
11. Anch’ il mar par che sommerga (Bajazet)
Bajazet, RV 703 is an Italian opera in 3 acts composed in 1735. The libretto was written by Agostino Piovene. It was premiered in Verona, during the Carnival season of that year.
The aria Anche il mar par che sommerga (Even the sea seems to overwhelm) is from Act 2, Scene 2.
12. Dite, oime’ (La fida ninfa)
La fida ninfa (The Faithful Nymph, RV 714) is an opera by Antonio Vivaldi to a libretto by the Venetian writer and art critic (1 June 1675 – 11 February 1755) Scipione Maffei. The opera was first performed for the opening of the Teatro Filarmonico in Verona on 6 January 1732.
The aria Dite, oime’ is from Act III, Scene 10.
13. Agitata da due venti (Griselda)
Griselda is a dramma per musica in three acts that was composed by Antonio Vivaldi. The opera uses a revised version of the 1701 Italian libretto by the Venetian poet and librettist Apostolo Zeno (11 December 1669 – 11 November 1750) that was based on the Italian poet Giovanni Boccaccio’s (16 June 1313 – 21 December 1375) The Decameron (X, 10, “The Patient Griselda”).
The celebrated Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni (25 February 1707 – 6 February 1793) was hired to adapt the libretto for Vivaldi. The opera was first performed in Venice at the Teatro San Samuele on 18 May 1735.
Two arias from the opera have become popular concert pieces with singers such as Cecilia Bartoli and Simone Kermes. These are “Agitata da due venti” (Moved by the wind) from act 2 and “Dopo un’orrida procella” (After a horrid storm) from act 3.
14. Sventurata navicella (Giustino)
Giustino (also known as Anastasio) RV 717 is a 1724 opera by Vivaldi to a libretto by the Italian nobleman, lawyer and amateur opera librettist Nicolò Beregan (1627-1713). The opera was composed for the 1724 carnival season in Rome and premiered at the Teatro Capranica.
- L’Olimpiade (Vivaldi) on Wikipedia
- Tito Manlio on Wikipedia
- Ottone in Villa on Wikipedia
- Farnace on Wikipedia
- Bajazet (opera) on Wikipedia
- La fida ninfa on Wikipedia
- Griselda (Vivaldi) on Wikipedia
- Giustino (Vivaldi) on Wikipedia