Concerto pour Cordes
Damien Guillon, Contre- ténor
Stabat Mater and Nisi Dominus by Antonio Vivaldi are the two most famous motets for Alto composed by the Prete Rosso.
Ordered in 1711 and performed for the first time in 1712 during the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary feast, Stabat Mater holds a primary place in Vivaldi’s work. It was not composed for the Ospedale della Pieta in Venice where Vivaldi worked as violin master, but instead for the town of Brescia, where Antonio Vivaldi’s father was born. The musical piece is a long lamentation composed of three groups of three movements – so quite a rare architecture at the time – giving the work a unique expressive style.
More brilliant yet, Nisi Dominus, written on Psalm 126, comes much closer to the world of Opera in terms of writing. It demonstrates omnipresent mastery of skill and changes in affect, and its overall expression is rather theatrical.