Vivaldi: Dixit Dominus

Vivaldi: Dixit Dominus

by Peter Kopp
     
 

Here's a magnificent musical find. Deliberately misattributed in the mid-18th century as the work of the then-popular composer Galuppi, this Dixit Dominus was restored to the Vivaldi canon in 2005 upon its unearthing in a Dresden library. Scholars lost no time calling it "the most important Vivaldi discovery in 75 years," as the sticker on the jewel case pointsSee more details below

Overview

Here's a magnificent musical find. Deliberately misattributed in the mid-18th century as the work of the then-popular composer Galuppi, this Dixit Dominus was restored to the Vivaldi canon in 2005 upon its unearthing in a Dresden library. Scholars lost no time calling it "the most important Vivaldi discovery in 75 years," as the sticker on the jewel case points out, and there's no denying that it's one of the composer's finest choral works, comparable in scope and impression to the familiar Gloria. Written for orchestra (including winds and trumpet), chorus, and six vocal soloists, it's filled with the spry, tuneful music of Vivaldi at his best, and the continual variety from one movement to the next holds the listener in rapt attention. Building on the Galuppi connection, the disc continues with three more liturgical works by the younger Venetian composer -- a Laetatus sum, a Nisi Dominus, and a Lauda Jerusalem. Although perfectly pleasant and proficiently crafted, Galuppi's music can't quite rise to the same level of inspiration as the delightful opener. Still, Conductor Peter Kopp (making his Deutsche Grammophon Archiv debut), a crew of ace Dresden musicians, and an excellent gathering of soloists present the entire program in a bright, technically assured light that seems all but impossible to improve upon. Vivaldi recordings are currently popping up like wildflowers, but here's one to enjoy for the rare gem that it is.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
The sticker emblazoned on the front of Archiv Produktion's Vivaldi: Dixit Dominus proclaims this as a "World-premiere recording of the work scholars are calling the 'the most important Vivaldi discovery in 75 years.'" That takes a little bit of qualification, though not much -- inside, Vivaldi scholar Michael Talbot clarifies that this "Dixit" is "arguably the best non-operatic work from Vivaldi's pen to come to light since the discovery, in the 1920s, of the major part of the composer personal archive." That makes a bit more sense, as the field of Baroque performance practice in the early years of the twenty first century is largely defined by the revival of Vivaldi's once totally neglected operatic and solo vocal output. It must seem to a lot of listeners like there is a new Vivaldi discovery every five minutes; after all, it was only in 2004 that Hyperion issued "Nisi Dominus, RV 803," then proclaimed as "Vivaldi's latest work." One of the reasons these Vivaldi discoveries seem to be coming so thick and fast is that they are all from the same source, a group of manuscripts in the Sächsische Landesbibliothek Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden copied under the direction of eighteenth century priest Dom Giuseppe Baldan. Baldan came up short on scores by the most popular sacred composer of his day, Baldassare Galuppi, and substituted, under Galuppi's name, some rather old-fashioned sounding sacred settings supplied by his assistants, who just happened to be from among Antonio Vivaldi's nephews. With the appearance of "Dixit Dominus, RV 608," this seems to exhaust the four "Galuppi/Vivaldi" scores known in Dresden, but this does not preclude the possibility that yet more of Baldan's handiwork may exist elsewhere. Professor Talbot's cautious choice of the phrase "arguably the best" is a good one; "Dixit Dominus" is the most expansive of the four "Galuppi/Vivaldi" scores, but "Nisi Dominus, RV 803," while shorter, might be a bit more emotionally fulfilling as a work; it is too soon to call for a qualitative standpoint. The inclusion here of the three genuine sacred works of Galuppi -- "Laetatus sum," "Nisi Dominus," and "Lauda Jerusalem" -- makes obvious why it is ridiculous to ascribe works such as "Dixit Dominus, RV 608," to Galuppi. Vivaldi's music is clearly, ruggedly Baroque; "Dixit" is full of turbulent, tumbling rhythms, vivid text painting, and concludes with an ambitious fugal section, whereas Galuppi favors a clean, clear-cut melodic line and the gentle rhythmic lilt of the style galant. The performances here, by the ad hoc Körnerscher Sing-Verein Dresden and Dresdner Instrumental-Concert and soloists under the general direction of Peter Kopp, are very good -- not wholly transparent, but the weightiness of some of these interpretations helps provide some stability to the texturally slender Galuppi. One impression the listener goes away with from Vivaldi: Dixit Dominus is how fine these Galuppi works are, and one is grateful to have heard them. Soprano Roberta Invernizzi and contralto Sara Mingardo give standout performances in Galuppi's "Nisi Dominus" in particular. Nevertheless, all true Vivaldians will want to hear this "new" "Dixit Dominus" -- it IS a major discovery in terms of Vivaldi's sacred music, and the performance manages to touch all of the required bases.
New York Times - James R. Oestreich
Peter Kopp's choral and orchestral forces are excellent.... The "Dixit Dominus" is indeed a major find, eminently worthy to stand alongside Vivaldi's Gloria.
Gramophone - David Vickers
It is good to witness [Kopp's] finely crafted debut on DG Archiv presenting what may justifiably be described as the finest non-operatic Vivaldi discovery of the past 75 years.
Los Angeles Times - Mark Swed
It takes all of five seconds to recognize Vivaldi's unmistakable vibrancy in this setting of the 110th Psalm.... Peter Kopp's strikingly effective performance...sells the dazzling score.
San Francisco Chronicle - Steven Winn
This "new" Vivaldi "Dixit Dominus" has some striking features. Dramatic descending arpeggios in the opening chorus, a buoyant duet for two tenors, an undulant contralto aria ("De torrente in via bibet") and a handsome fugue at the end stand out.
Dallas Morning News - Lawson Taitte
[Grade: A-] This first recording reveals just how good a work this setting of Psalm 110 is -- majestic and lyrical, with a bit of Vivaldi's typical playfulness thrown in as well. A first-rate performance.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/13/2006
Label:
Archiv Produktion
UPC:
0028947761457
catalogNumber:
000649402
Rank:
183222

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Dixit Dominus (Psalm 109), for 6 voices, chorus, 2 oboes, trumpet, bassoon, strings & continuo D major, RV 807  - Antonio Vivaldi  - Paul Agnew  - Roberta Invernizzi  - Merle Kersten  - Sara Mingardo  - Thomas Cooley  - Lucia Cirillo  - Dresdner Instrumental-Concert  - Peter Kopp  - Körnerscher Sing-Verein Dresden
  2. Laetatus Sum (Psalm 121), for chorus, strings & continuo in F major, RV 607  - Antonio Vivaldi  - Paul Agnew  - Roberta Invernizzi  - Merle Kersten  - Sara Mingardo  - Lucia Cirillo  - Dresdner Instrumental-Concert  - Peter Kopp  - Körnerscher Sing-Verein Dresden
  3. Nisi Dominus (Psalm 126), for 3 voices, viola d'amore, chalumeau, violin, strings & continuo in A major, RV 803  - Antonio Vivaldi  - Roberta Invernizzi  - Merle Kersten  - Sara Mingardo  - Lucia Cirillo  - Dresdner Instrumental-Concert  - Peter Kopp  - Körnerscher Sing-Verein Dresden
  4. Lauda Jerusalem (Psalm 147), for 2 voices, double chorus, strings & continuo in E minor, RV 609  - Antonio Vivaldi  - Roberta Invernizzi  - Merle Kersten  - Sara Mingardo  - Dresdner Instrumental-Concert  - Peter Kopp  - Körnerscher Sing-Verein Dresden

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Peter Kopp   Primary Artist

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