Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) remains best known as a composer of virtuosic instrumental music, particularly in the form of concertos like The Four Seasons. This CD, first released in 1991 and now available once again, demonstrates that Vivaldi’s large-scale sacred choral music is equally stunning.
‘the solemnly but eloquently expressive F minor Stabat Mater (RV621) provides a fine vehicle for the hauntingly pure voice of countertenor Nigel Short…. Ex Cathedra’s singing is excellent, by turns graceful and energetic, and the standard is fully matched by the crisply articulate period-instrument orchestra.’ (The Times)
‘The Birmingham group’s clear Baroque skills and their sense of Vivaldi’s shifting liturgical moods are both wholly satisfying and immensely comforting throughout… achieving a finely-judged balance and immediate buoyancy…. Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater features the excellently contemplative alto Nigel Short. Here his delivery is gentle yet unobtrusively colourful…. In sum, these lovely Vespers deserve the highest praise and already they stand alongside my most treasured recent discs.’ (CD Review)
‘an attractive range of pieces in spirited and vital performances, stylistically performed yet also exciting and fresh … surely one of the finer recordsings available notwithstanding the distinction of rival artists.’ (Laudate)
‘the sheer vitality of the singing and playing, and the evident affection in which Vivaldi’s music is held by all those taking part. Singers and players respond to the music with sensibility and secure techniques ‘ (Gramophone)