Magnificat RV 610 - Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Beatus vir SV 268 - Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Machet die Tore weit TWV 1: 1074 - Georg Philip Telemann (1681-1767)
Nulla in mundo pax sincera RV 630 - Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Gloria RV 589 - Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Mayfield Festival Choir directed by Jeremy Summerly with the Mayfield Baroque Orchestra and soloists Eloise Irving (soprano), Eleanor Sanderson-Nash (soprano), Beth Moxton (alto), Joel Williams (tenor) & Harry Thatcher (bass).
Vivaldi was a red-haired, asthmatic priest, who died in poverty. While JS Bach admired Vivaldi for his originality and striking sonorities, Vivaldi’s music fell into obscurity within a few years of the composer’s death, and it remained largely unheard by audiences throughout the 19th century. Now, of course, even a visit to a petrol station isn’t complete without seeing Vivaldi’s music on sale. The Gloria and the Magnificat are justifiably Vivaldi’s most frequently performed choral works, and the sublime opening movement of the Soprano cantata Nulla in mundo pax sincera has become equally well known because of its poignant use in the closing credits of the powerful 1996 film Shine about the life and work of British-trained Australian concert pianist David Helfgott.
In this Baroque feast, the choir and young soloists perform alongside period instruments, Vivaldi’s music is supported by that of Telemann and Monteverdi. Monteverdi was the finest composer of the early 17th century and Beatus vir was written for the spectacular surroundings of St Mark’s in Venice, where Monteverdi was Director of Music for three decades. Telemann wrote his cantata Machet die Tore weit almost a century later as an ambitious young composer in Frankfurt. This concert celebrates the glories of the German and Italian Baroque and by turns makes feet tap and tugs at the heartstrings.
Mayfield Baroque Orchestra: James Toll (leader); Claudia Norz, George Clifford, Christiane Eidsten Dahl (violin); Jordan Bowron, Joane Miller (viola); Alex Rolton (cello); John Henry Baker (double bass); Joel Raymond, Nicola Barbagli (oboe); Peter Mankarious (trumpet); Rupert Jeffcoat (organ).
On Sunday evening St Dunstans Church Mayfield opened its doors once again to a capacity audience. They were there to listen to a programme of Baroque music given by the Mayfield Festival Choir, Mayfield Baroque Orchestra and soloists. The programme included works by Vivaldi, Monteverdi and Telemann. The first offering was Vivaldi’s Magnificat for choir and five soloists. In this we were to witness the playing of the Mayfield Baroque for the first time, with each movement duly delivered in a measured and secure fashion by both choir and orchestra. Next up was the Beatus vir by Monteverdi followed by Machet die Tore weit by Telemann, both equally served by consummate playing.
After the interval Vivaldi’s Nulla in mundo pax sincera for soprano soloist proved the perfect vehicle for Eloise Irving to demonstrate her substantial vocal gifts. Technically adept, she dispensed, with the correct amount of authority, the many testing coloratura obstacles of the piece, and the rapturous reaction of the entire church was evidence of their appreciation. With Jeremy Summerly, this time conducting from the harpsichord, this was one of the highlights of the evening. The concert ended with Vivialdi’s Gloria, undoubtedly his best-known work, and here choir and orchestra came together to do it full justice, dealing skilfully with the extreme changes of tempi.
Throughout the evening the choir, orchestra, instrumental soloists and singers performed admirably. When the concert finished the audience dispersed, having witnessed a joyous night of music making.