Join with like minded singers as Musica Sacra of Sarasota continues its popular series of annual Summer Sings. Each Summer Sing is the perfect outlet for the singing spirit during the hiatus of the summer months, each focusing on one choral masterwork in an afternoon of music making without the pressure or stress of a public performance. The second of this year's events is Vivaldi's Gloria.
There is hardly a choral masterwork more famous or beloved that Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria (RV 589).
Antonio Vivaldi wrote at least three settings of the hymn Gloria in excelsis Deo, whose words date probably from the 4th Century and which is an integral part of the Ordinary of the Mass. Two survive: RV 588 and RV 589. A third, RV 590, is mentioned only in the Kreuzherren catalogue and presumed lost. The RV 589 Gloria is a familiar and popular piece among sacred works by Vivaldi. It was probably written at about the same time as the RV 588, possibly in 1715.
The work we explore is the better known setting of the Gloria, simply known as the Vivaldi "Gloria" due to its outstanding popularity. This piece, along with its mother composition RV 588, was composed at the same time during Vivaldi's employment at the Pieta. Two introduzioni exist as explained in the aforementioned article.
As in RV 588, there exists evidence of influence by RV Anh. 23: the first movement's chorus shares similar key modulations to that of the first movement of RV 588, only modified to fit a duple meter instead of the triple meter of RV 588. Motivic material present in the orchestral parts of either piece are also shared, including octave jumps in the opening motives of the piece. The second movement is significantly more chromatic in RV 589, but nonetheless is texturally similar to the setting present in RV Anh. 23, with the use of repeating rhythmic figures underneath harmonic motion. The "Qui Tollis" movement of RV 589 is rhythmically similar to the first few measures of RV 588 (and ultimately RV Anh. 23). The last movement, "Cum Sancto Spiritu," is essentially an "updated" version of movement present in both RV Anh. 23 and RV 588, except extensively harmonically modified, becoming more chromatic than its predecessors, reflecting a maturity in Vivaldi's output and the emerging style of the late Italian Baroque.