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Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro in B minor RV 169

Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)

Arcangelo

Arcangelo

Composer
Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
Composition Year
1718-1720
Work Movements
1. Adagio molto
2. Allegro ma poco
Artists
Arcangelo (Sophie Gent, James Toll [violins], Rebecca Jones [viola], Sarah McMahon [cello], Tim Amherst [bass], David Miller [lute], Jonathan Cohen [harpsichord,director])

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

Vivaldi wrote two pieces entitled ‘al Santo Sepolcro,’ (at the Holy Sepulchre); this sinfonia for four-part strings, and a sonata. Despite being predominantly based in Venice, Vivaldi also travelled extensively around Italy to oversee performances of his operas and it is likely that the impetus for this work came from one of the many churches also bearing this name.

The mood of the Sinfonia is extraordinarily different from the exuberant and vivacious concerti the composer is so famous for. As suggested by the title, it is a sacred work for Holy Week, most likely written to be performed during a mass at the Pietà. The solemnity of the event is evoked by the tempo of the music, the anguish by the intense, chromatic harmonies of the first movement whilst the descending chromatic steps in the theme of the second movement portrays the pathos of the occasion, asking us to reflect upon the suffering and death of Christ.

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Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro in B minor RV 169

Composer: Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
Performance date: Monday 29th June 2015
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Antonio Vivaldi (b. 1678 - d. 1741)
Work Title Sinfonia al Santo Sepolcro in B minor RV 169
Composition Year 1718-1720
Work Movements 1. Adagio molto
2. Allegro ma poco
Artist(s) Arcangelo (Sophie Gent, James Toll [violins], Rebecca Jones [viola], Sarah McMahon [cello], Tim Amherst [bass], David Miller [lute], Jonathan Cohen [harpsichord,director])
Performance Date Monday 29th June 2015
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee Concert
Duration 00:04:19
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Small Mixed Ensemble
Instrumentation 2vn,va,vc, db, lute, hpd
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys

Vivaldi wrote two pieces entitled ‘al Santo Sepolcro,’ (at the Holy Sepulchre); this sinfonia for four-part strings, and a sonata. Despite being predominantly based in Venice, Vivaldi also travelled extensively around Italy to oversee performances of his operas and it is likely that the impetus for this work came from one of the many churches also bearing this name.

The mood of the Sinfonia is extraordinarily different from the exuberant and vivacious concerti the composer is so famous for. As suggested by the title, it is a sacred work for Holy Week, most likely written to be performed during a mass at the Pietà. The solemnity of the event is evoked by the tempo of the music, the anguish by the intense, chromatic harmonies of the first movement whilst the descending chromatic steps in the theme of the second movement portrays the pathos of the occasion, asking us to reflect upon the suffering and death of Christ.