Teatro del Bicenenario turns two: all Vivaldi program


(Poster courtesy of Teatro del Bicentenario)

The Teatro del Bicentenario in León, México is going to celebrate their two year anniversary with a fabulous concert this Friday, December 7th that will include three monumental works by Antonio Vivaldi: Lauda Jerusalem RV 609, Magnificat RV 610, and Gloria RV 589.  If there is one essential aspect of Vivaldi’s work, it is the sense of exhilaration that one feels when hearing his music. Such is the case with the Gloria RV 589, the featured work for this upcoming concert.  I hope to be able to attend the concert myself.  Like the other events I have attended over this past year at the theater, this event seems destined to help satisfy the growing appetite for the arts in the area. 

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741), was known to be a person of frail health.  In 1703, he was ordained as a priest, but his precarious health made it difficult for him to attend to his priestly duties.  At the end of 1706 he retired from the priesthood and became choirmaster as well as violin teacher at the girls’ orphanage Ospedale della Pietà ( Mercy Hospital). Vivaldi was a highly skilled violinist in his own right and is best remembered for being a prolific composer.  In the catalog of his work there are more than 500 concertos, 80 sonatas, 46 operas and 45 oratorios and sacred compositions, masses and motets.

Over the past two years the Teatro del Bicentenario has clearly positioned itself as one of the main venues in Mexico, both in terms of the quality of the programming and consistency of the artistic vision. This concert features Camerata de Coahuila, widely considered one of the best chamber orchestras in Mexico, specializing in late baroque and classical repertoire.

For this special occasion, the Solistas Ensamble de Bellas Artes  from Mexico City will also participate.  This particular ensemble is well recognized for their interpretation of both early and contemporary music, including works by composers of the Mexican nationalist movement such as Blas Galindo, Carlos Chávez y Silvestre Revueltas. The concert will be conducted by maestro Ramon Shade.

Description of pieces on the program:

Lauda Jerusalem, inspired by Psalm 147, is a prayer to God for blessings received by the people of Jerusalem. The work is in one movement for two soloists, double chorus and orchestra, and was written towards the end of his life.  He dedicated this piece to the children’s choir of the Ospedale della Pietà, where he was a teacher at the time.

With the text of Luke 1:46 - 55, Vivaldi’s Magnificat is one of his better known works. It gives voice to the gospel that begins with the words “My soul magnifies the Lord …”.   As is the case with much of his choral work, this piece was also dedicated to the girl’s choir of  Ospedale della Pietà.

Probably the most popular choral work byVivaldi, the Gloria, is a sacred work and unlike most of his other works, was not written for the choir at Ospedale della Pietà.  Because it is celebratory and festive as well as laudatory, it is a popular work for the holidays.

Ci sentiamo presto,


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