The Sacred Vocal Music of Antonio Vivaldi
1995, cm 17 x 24, xii-566 pp. con es. mus. n.t.
- About this book
Although individual sacred vocal compositions by Vivaldi such as the «Gloria» (RV 589) and the «Stabat Mate»r have been part of the general repertoire for over fifty years, their quantity, quality and variety remain under-appreciated. The accident of their late discovery, at a time when Vivaldi’s historical position as the creator of the late-baroque concerto and the prime mover in the «flight from counterpoint» had become a fixed doctrine, has caused them to be unjustly marginalized until recently.
The special quality of Vivaldi’s church music is linked to the paradoxical fact that, although a priest, he was not, occupationally speaking, a «church» musician. Some of it resulted from chance opportunities, while other works reveal his desire to be a «universal» composer, to whom no major genre was foreign.
This book is the first-ever comprehensive exploration of this sizable corpus of music. Confronting its subject from many angles, it includes biographical, historical, contextual, bibliographical and liturgical information, general and individual analytical and critical discussions of the works, and reflections on their historical position and on aspects of performance practice.
Vivaldi’s indebtedness to other composers, highlighted by a detailed examination of the works in his personal collection, is brought out clearly, as is his originality and his success in assimilating into his church music progressive features developed in his secular works.
Michael Talbot, born in 1943, is known internationally for his studies of Vivaldi and this composer’s Italian, especially Venetian, contemporaries, and for his editions of their music. Among the other composers on whom he has written monographs are Tomaso Albinoni and Benedetto Vinaccesi. His interests within this area are wide and include biography, history, analysis and textual criticism. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Corresponding Member of the Ateneo Veneto. For many years he has been a collaborator of the Istituto Italiano Antonio Vivaldi, and he is currently a co-editor of the Institute’s yearbook «Studi vivaldiani».
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