Vivaldi's two Glorias
The original question was looking for more information on the two
Glorias by Vivaldi, especially RV 589 which is generally neglected.
People often refer to just The Vivaldi Gloria without acknowledging
there are two. I personally find the less popular one to be a equal
musical value if not greater.
The only comments I received are the two below so I also append my
own notes from the first performance we did of RV 589 and its
Introduction RV 639 which were originally all one composition but
apparently catalogued separately.
Both the Gloria settings, RV588 and 589, contain music by Ruggieri.
In the case of the more famous Gloria, RV 589, it is just the final
fugue that is adapted from Ruggieri; the other piece has three
sections that are originally by Ruggieri. This may account for the
dominance of RV 589: it is more purely Vivaldi.
improved from G. M Ruggieri.>
My program notes:
Introduction, RV 639 and Gloria, RV 588
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
In spite of Vivaldi's enormous catalogue of instrumental and choral
works, most people tend to associate him with The Four Seasons and
the Gloria in D. Completely overlooked is the fact that he wrote
another Gloria in D in no way inferior to the popular setting and
whose existence has been known since the 1920's. The reason
apparently has to do with an earlier misunderstanding of the role of
the Introduction. The Intrada or Introduction was a common 17th
century musical device that served to create the appropriate
atmosphere for the work to follow and quite frequently as a fanfare
for the entrance of various nobility. The popular Gloria RV 589 had
an introduction Ostro Picata RV 642, but this Introduction was
constructed in such a manner that it could be conceived as a
completely separate work. Consequently those seeking a pure
liturgical Gloria text omitted the Introduction.
The work for this program, Gloria RV 588, also has an Introduction,
RV 639 Jubilate. It opens with an orchestral prelude and Jubilate
text based on fanfare motifs. A short recitative follows, which
prepares for the opening movement of the Gloria. The first movement's
liturgical text "Gloria in excelsis Deo" however is interwoven with
the soloist's paraphrase of Psalm 150. Consequently those seeking a
pure liturgical Gloria text had a problem excising the solo text;
hence, the neglect of this work.
Both Glorias were written during Vivaldi's tenure (1702-1717) at the
Ospedale della Pietá, the largest of four institutions that cared for
orphans and the indigent. The girls at these institutions received
extensive musical training, and the music programs were widely
acclaimed and frequently visited by nobility from throughout Europe.
It was customary for the musical ensembles to present new works at
the various festival occasions of the Church, and the Glorias were
probably composed in response to some such occasion.
One final historical note is that the final movement "Cum Sancto
Spiritu" is the same setting as used in the other Gloria; however,
both were borrowed by Vivaldi from a Gloria for two choirs and
orchestra of Ruggieri composed in 1708.
"The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those
that sing the best." Attributed to Henry David Thoreau
Dr. Robert Eaton, Artistic Director
Assabet Valley Mastersingers
Assabet Valley Chambersingers
Minister of Music
First Baptist Church of Lexington
Treasurer/Past-President Mass. American Choral Directors Association