There's hardly a hole in the market for another recording of the Vivaldi Gloria in D major, RV 589, and listening to the familiar opening lines of the first chorus here you may wonder what the point is. The Coro della Radiotelevizione svizzera sounds rich and warm, actually kind of like the big Vivaldi choirs of yesteryear. And high-powered Italian Baroque specialist and the historical-instrument I Barocchisti ensemble seem unusually broad rather than sharp-edged in their reading here. Persist, however, and you'll see what the fuss is about: This recording offers two vocalists at the top of their powers, and the solo sections of the Gloria have rarely sizzled as they do here. Even better are the two solo cantatas: Argentine countertenor Diego Fasolis is deliberate and sensuous in the Nisi dominus, RV 608, and soprano Julia Lezhneva shines in the little-performed Nulla in mundo pax sincera, RV 630, which is perhaps little performed because of its sheer difficulty. Sample the first recitative, which Vivaldi must have written for one of his star sopranos at the Ospedale della Pietà, to hear her ripple through complex ornaments and the spiky line of the aria. These would be worth the price by themselves, and when paired with a Gloria of similar quality, they propel this album to the realm of must-have.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Gloria RV 589|
|Nisi Dominus RV 608|
|Nulla in Mundo Pax Sincera RV 630|