Laudate Pueri Dominum RV 601

Composer: Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
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Composer: Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)

Performance date: 30/06/2012

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1730

Duration: 00:22:44

Recording Engineer: Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation Category:Small Mixed Ensemble

Artists: Dohyo Sol - [theorbo/archlute]
Kate Hearne - [recorder/cello]
Arte dei Suonatori (Aureliusz Golinski, Ewa Golinska [violins], Anna Nowak [viola], Tomasz Pokrzywinski [cello], Joanna Boslak-Gorniok [harpsichord]) - [baroque ensemble]
Maria Keohane - [soprano]

was almost by chance that Vivaldi found himself in 1713 in the
position of
di coro

at the school for orphaned girls, the Venitian
della Pietà
With this position came the responsibility to provide a steady stream
of sacred vocal music for the girls to sing in chapel, a job that was
important in order to attract a congregation and encourage generous
donations and bequests. Thus Vivaldi’s career as a sacred vocal
composer began. One only needs to take a look at the collection of
motets and psalms for solo soprano to realise that Vivaldi expected
the same virtuosic level from his singers as he did from the players
of his solo violin concertos.
Pueri, Dominum

is one such work, and can in fact be likened to a concerto for voice.
It is the last of three known settings by Vivaldi of Psalm 122, which
may be presumed to form part of the settings of Vespers intended to
be fitted into major events in the Church calendar. The work appears
to have been composed for one of the Italian singers employed at the
Saxon-Polish court in Dresden around 1730. It is more operatic than
the earlier versions, and its flourishing ornamentation is more
similar to that found in the Neapolitan operas that had recently
conquered Venice. Its dramatic intensity is increased further by some
vivid examples of word-painting, underlying the thoughtfulness that
Vivaldi put into his need of expressing the text that portrayed his
strong faith. We are lucky to have both Vivaldi’s autograph score
which is held in the library in Turin, as well as a copy made by his
father, Giovanni Battista Vivaldi, in Dresden. The verses of the
psalm are set singly or paired together as separate movements, each
verse displaying its individuality by changing mood, key,
instrumental scoring and style. Perhaps the most memorable movement
is the haunting
Vivaldi introduces the flute as an obbligato instrument to create a
sublime duet in praise to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The
concluding Amen, with it’s virtuosic flourishes and fast diatonic
passages, contains a high D towards the end that is the highest note
to be found in any of Vivaldi’s sacred works. A soaring conclusion
to a magnificent work.