«Judith triumphant over the barbarians of Holofernes» is the only survivor of the four oratorios that Vivaldi is known to have composed. The work was commissioned to celebrate the victory of the Republic of Venice over the Turks during the siege of Corfu. All characters, male and female, are interpreted by women (originally the singers of the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice).
Although the rest of the oratorio survives completely intact, the overture has been lost and Jordi Savall has selected 2 existing concertos as introduction, of which the key, mode and no doubt date of composition coincide most closely with the subject of the oratorio.
The oratorio Juditha triumphans marks the climax of Vivaldi’s vocal production. The great beauty of its arias and choral parts, the compact dramatic quality of its recitatives and the richness of instrumentation all single it out as one of the most intense and fascinating examples of the genre.
As you have cme to expect, the booklet is lavishly illustrated and contains the full libretto translated in 6 languages.
The ostentatious musical charms and theatricality of Juditha triumphans devicta Holofernes barbarie (1716) are served vividly in this live concert recording made at the Philharmonie de Paris by Le Concert des Nations, who evidently had a field day bringing Vivaldi’s colourful instrumentation to life...Marianne Beate Kielland sings with mellow beauty...Savall’s direction has pacy dramatic momentum while allowing each number to breathe and speak for itself articulately. Gramophone