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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vivaldi, parts 781 - 784

781. But search as he might, he could find not a single page of this piece by Monteverdi, and even today Music scholars only know of it because it was mentioned in a letter that Pope Clement XI sent to Cardinal Riveria in Spain asking about a certain sort of grapes.

782. Vivaldi gave up the search but he did not give up on the idea of a work for young girls in which the girls plead for the life of one of their own. For some reason he felt that such a subject would appeal emotionally to the girls. What he hoped to do was to mine their deep feeling of resentment since they were orphans, added to the fact they were all aware of the social standing of their unknown parents.

783. Vivaldi was a very prolific composer, and after many hours in the music library trying to find the composition by Monteverdi, it struck him that he could compose a work himself on the same theme, and it would take him less time than his search for the manuscript had taken.

784. Vivaldi composed an oratorio rather than on opera. An oratorio was more appropriate to his resources than an opera. It was a short work consisting of a solo by Iphigenia, Agamemnon's daughter in which she pleads for her life. The solo was followed by a chorus of the girls of the town singing in unison.  After that came a quartet of mothers, reproaching Agamemnon for his plan to sacrifice his daughter in order to make possible his war on Troy.

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