On Feb. 1, choir and band joined together to skillfully perform Antonio Vivaldi’s hymn “Gloria.”
“Every year we perform a ‘Major Work,’” choir teacher Jeff Morton said. “The ‘Gloria’ is over a half of an hour long and has 12 movements, some soft and beautiful, others loud and powerful.”
I found the performance to be wonderful. I’m not classically trained in singing and have little knowledge on the expectations required for “Gloria,” so my opinion isn’t that of an expert. But as an observer, the choir sounded lovely and the orchestra was amazing.
I did not notice any off-key singers or poorly tuned instruments throughout the entire show. The violinists showed particular skill, mastering their parts and consistently being on point.
The composer behind this famous piece is Antonio Vivaldi, an 18th century composer who is well known as one of the most renowned figures in European classical music.
Despite Vivaldi’s interest in music, he sought religious training and was ordained a priest in 1703. However, Vivaldi may have joined priesthood not out of religious devotion, but because of the free schooling and access to music it provided.
“[During the Baroque period] almost all music was somehow financially made possible because of the Catholic church,” Morton said.
According to biography.com, by the age of 25, Vivaldi became master of violin at Ospedale della Pietà (Devout Hospital of Mercy) in Venice.
According to baroquemusic.com, the Ospedale housed the love children of noblemen and their various mistresses. As a result, it received large donations from “anonymous” fathers.
“I don’t recall if the Gloria was sung by the orphanage youth. The orphanage was all girls, so at least some other forces would be needed to sing the male parts,” Morton said.
Like many of Vivaldi’s other pieces, the “Gloria” is a religious text.
“The first line ‘Glory to God in the Highest’ set the tone as a praise and thanks giving song,” Morton said. “Other lines include prayer for peace on earth and lifting out our sins and trials to that which is greater than us.”