Vivaldi: Return of the Angels
Matthias Maute, conductor
“The Return of Angels” is billed as a collection of Vivaldi’s
sacred music arranged in an attractive program. The Ensemble Caprice
under Matthias Maute perform these works with a lightness and
transparency that make for an enjoyable listening experience.
disc starts with Juditha triumphans, one of Vivaldi’s four surviving
oratorios. Originally, this music was performed by girls of the
orphanage where he directed the music program. Ensemble Caprice also
uses an exclusively female cast, giving the drama a serene, otherworldly
feel. By cutting out the long stretches of secco recitative, the
Ensemble pares this large work down to a compact and appealing suite.
motet O qui coeli terraeque serenitas (RV 631) is a study in
contrasts, both in vocal style and orchestral writing. Soprano Gabriele Hierdeis floats effortlessly above the busy ensemble, turning in an
In addition to some psalms and the Et in terra pax from the “Gloria” (RV 588), there are also some
excerpts from the oratorio Gesu al cavario by Vivaldi’s colleague in
Dresden, Jan Dismas Zelenka. Zelenka’s music compares favorably to
Vivaldi’s – without looking at the program notes, the casual listener
might not hear the difference.
Also included is a Vivaldi concerto for two recorders (RV 566) and
another for Trumpet and Oboe (RV563). Both works are ably played by the
Ensemble Caprice, and provide a nice contrast to the vocal selections.