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  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Sacred Music Vol. 6
Beatus vir
Salve Regina
Laudate Dominum
In exitu Israel
Nisi Dominus
Susan Gritton (sop) Nathalie Stutzmann, Hilary Summers, Alexandra Gibson (con)
Choir Of The King's Consort

The King's Consort/Robert King
Rec: St Jude, London, July 2000
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A very satisfying, nicely contrasted programme of solo and choral sacred vocal music, which shows Vivaldi in an unfamiliar light, and is remarkable for the dominance of low female voices. Beatus vir displays strong contrasts between the styles of its many short sections. Hilary Summers sings Peccator videbit, one of the lowest alto arias ever written; Vivaldi had girls at the Pieta trained to sing unusually low. The French alto Nathalie Stutzmann is impressive in Nisi Dominus and I admired her sparing use of vibrato. Susan Gritton is glorious in the solo soprano motet Salve Regina and of the choral works I enjoyed particularly the breathless race of the exodus from Egypt, In exitu Israel, two pages of verse traversed in three and a half minutes. Robert King keeps the proceedings buoyant.

The entire sleeve notes, which are interesting and illuminating, are easily accessed at http://www2.hyperion-records.co.uk/notes/66809.html, so there is no need to duplicate the information here. Hearing this album, No 6 of the series, suggests that Robert King has a winner here. This is to be considered alongside his acclaimed sets of Purcell's Complete Anthems and Services (11 volumes; I have No. 7, CDA66677) and the bargain boxed set of his Complete Odes and Welcome Songs (CDS 44031/8) review - that is amongst the most treasured in my collection, one which is often taken off the shelf.

Peter Grahame Woolf

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