London Festival Of Baroque Music 2015


01Radio 3 Live In Concert20150517Live from St John's Smith Square in London, introduced by Sara Mohr-Pietsch.

The first of two concerts from the London Festival of Baroque Music. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment plays music by Vivaldi and Porpora, joined by the Oxford-based choir Schola Pietatis Antonio Vivaldi, an all-women choir which specialises in recreating the sound of the female orphanage choir that Vivaldi composed for.

Vivaldi: Dixit Dominus, RV 595

Vivaldi: Clarae stellae, scintillate, RV 625

Vivaldi: In exitu Israel, RV 604

Vivaldi: Nulla in mundo pax sincera, RV 630


Porpora: Laetatus sum

Vivaldi: Concerto in D major for violin, strings and continuo 'a due cori', RV 582, 'per la Santissima Assontione di Maria Vergine'

Vivaldi - Gloria, RV 589

Kati Debretzeni (violin/director)

The London Festival of Baroque Music is a new festival founded this year, continuing the legacy of the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, which ended in 2014 after 30 successful years. The theme of the festival is Women in Baroque Music, and it embraces music by women composers as well as pieces written for or about women. Vivaldi composed many of his choral pieces, including his celebrated Gloria, for the Pio Ospedale della Pietà (Devout Hospital of Mercy) in Venice, where he worked over a thirty year period. Their all-female choir clearly included women who could manage the choral bass parts, as does tonight's choir, the Schola Pietatis Antonio Vivaldi.

This is the first of two live broadcasts from the London Festival of Baroque Music - on Tuesday the Choir of Westminster Abbey and St James's Baroque are conducted by James O'Donnell in Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610.

02Radio 3 Live In Concert20150519Live from Westminster Abbey, introduced by Martin Handley.

In the final concert of the London Festival of Baroque Music, James O'Donnell conducts The Choir of Westminster Abbey and St James's Baroque in Monteverdi's stupendous Vespers of 1610.

Monteverdi: Vespers (1610)

James O'Donnell (conductor)

Monteverdi's Vespers of the Most Holy Virgin is the largest-scale church piece before the time of Bach. It was published in Venice in 1610, when Monteverdi was employed at the court of Mantua, and probably looking for a major church post - he appointed Director of Music at St Mark's in Venice three years later. It was composed on an epic scale, with a choir that is sometimes split into ten parts, challenging solo movements for sopranos, tenors and bass, and virtuoso solo parts for cornetts and violins. It is grand yet intimate, a perfect work for the ringing acoustic of Westminster Abbey, and a celebratory end to the London Festival of Baroque Music.

Further concerts from the London Festival of Baroque Music can be heard on the Early Music Show on 24th and 31st May.