Aleix Palau | 17 October 2018

Jordi Savall opens the Early Music Season with Antonio Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans

La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Le Concert des Nations will perform one of the great vocal ‎works by the Venetian composer. Savall, who is the feature personality of the season, ‎remains as resident at L’Auditori with La Capella Reial de Catalunya vocal group

The evening will see conductor Jordi Savall opening the Early Music Season with Antonio ‎Vivaldi’s oratorio Juditha Triumphans. Savall is returning with La Capella Reial de Catalunya, ‎who will spend another season as the resident group at L’Auditori. ‎

The orchestra Le Concert des Nations will accompany the vocal ensemble and a group of ‎soloists led by mezzosoprano Beate Kielland, who will perform the role of Juditha, with ‎contralto Marina de Liso as Holofernes and soprano Rachel Redmond as Vagaus, among ‎others.‎

Juditha Triumphans, Vivaldi’s only surviving Sacrum militare oratorium
Composed to celebrate Venice’s victory over the Turks during the siege of Corfu (a result of ‎the defeat of the Ottoman army by Austrian troops at the Battle of Petrovaradin on 5 August ‎‎1716), Juditha Triumphans represents the pinnacle of Antonio Vivaldi’s vocal works.‎

This Sacrum militare oratorium is based on the biblical story from the Book of Judith, with a ‎libretto written in Latin by Iacopo Casseti. When the work was presented at the Ospedale ‎dell Pietà in Venice in autumn 1716, all the characters, including the vocal ensemble, were ‎performed by women: Juditha and her handmaid Abra, Holofernes and his eunuch Vagaus, ‎as well as Ozias, the high priest of Bethulia.‎

Juditha Triumphans, the only one of Vivaldi’s four oratorios to have survived to this day, is ‎striking for the extraordinary beauty of the arias and the intense choral interventions, the ‎drama of the recitatives and the surprising variety of timbre combinations by the orchestral ‎ensemble (in addition to the usual strings, there are five violas da gamba, the viola d’amore, ‎four theorbos, mandolin, recorder, chalumeau, oboes, trumpets, clarion and timpani).‎

The Original Sound: four concerts from Jordi Savall for this season
This season, the dedication of Jordi Savall and La Capella Reial de Catalunya to L’Auditori will ‎take shape under the name The Original Sound, featuring four programmes in which they will ‎perform masterpieces from great names in the Baroque and Classical repertoire, such as ‎Antonio Vivaldi (with Juditha Triumphans), Heinrich Schütz, Johann Sebastian Bach and ‎Ludwig van Beethoven.‎