Title: Hommage a Vivaldi
Year Of Release: 2018
Label: Sony Classical
Genre: Classical, Vocal
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue,log,scans)
Total Time: 01:12:42
Total Size: 402 Mb


In turbato mare irato, RV 627
01. I. In turbato mare irato
02. II. Splende serena
03. III. Resplende bella divina stella
04. IV. Alleluia
Kyrie in G minor, RV 587
05. I. Adagio
06. II. Allegro
07. III. Allegro
Nisi Dominus (Psalm 126), RV 608
08. I. Nisi Dominus (Allegro)
09. II. Vanum est vobis (Largo)
10. III. Surgite (Presto)
11. IV. Cum dederit (Andante)
12. V. Sicut sagittae (Allegro)
13. VI. Beatus vir (Andante)
14. VII. Gloria Patri (Larghetto)
15. VIII. Sicut erat in principio (Allegro)
16. IX. Amen (Allegro)
Credo in E minor, RV 591
17. I. Credo in unum Deum
18. II. Et incarnatus est
19. III. Crucifixus
20. IV. Et resurrexit
Sum in medio tempestatum, RV 632
21. I. Sum in medio tempestatum
22. II. Quid ergo faciam, infelix anima
23. III. Semper maesta, sconsolata
24. IV. Alleluia

Vivica Genaux, mezzo-soprano
Wiener Kammerchor
Bach Consort Wien
Rubén Dubrovsky, conductor

It took me a while to get my head round this release. At first sight it appears a straightforward presentation of solo motets and choral Mass sections, yet its skimpy booklet seemed to suggest it was inspired by speculation on the ‘what if?’ of Vivaldi getting the job of Kapellmeister at St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. A closer reading then reveals that this is just a reprint of the diplomatically framed programme note from a concert in St Stephen’s in 2015, and that there is no Viennese substance to the music at all. So my first impression was correct – and if they’d left it at that it would have been fine.
Just how Venetian it actually is, is signalled by the fact that two of the motets are built on popular operatic nautical metaphors likening the troubled soul to a ship at sea and God’s pacifying power to arrival in a safe harbour, offering plenty of opportunities for contrast between vocal lines that soar and plunge like massive waves, and moments of soothing lyrical stillness and contentment. Vivica Genaux, as we have learned to expect, rides them with the faultless virtuosity of an expert surfer – a scintillating listen. She is perhaps less at home in Nisi Dominus, which in recent years has become a Vivaldi vocal favourite. Its moments of melting atmospheric beauty are less suited to Genaux’s penetrating vocal timbre which, in the wondrous ‘Cum dederit’, emerges as cold and metallic compared to the soft embrace of singers such as Andreas Scholl or Nathalie Stutzmann.
The Mass movements are less familiar yet unmistakably Vivaldian, if in a less interesting way, and their allure is further dulled by some rather pallid singing by the Wiener Kammerchor, who are also a touch distant in the balance. The playing of the Bach Consort Wien under Rubén Dubrovsky, however, is tidy, deep-toned and perky.