Vivaldi and Reali: Baroque Masters

Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741) was a Catholic priest, but one who spent much of his time as a composer than a pastor due, as he confessed, to his own precarious health. This was also, likely, a result proclivity, for he was one of the most voluminous musicians of the baroque. Vivaldi wrote many of his works for the girls’ orphanage of which he was chaplain and cappelmeister. They are, for all that and to our wonder, masterpieces.

The performance posted below contains a couple of works by the great baroque composer, along with those of a contemporary of Vivaldi, and a relative unknown, Giovanni Battista Reali, whose work compares well, even if almost never recorded. As the description on the video recounts:

Specchio veneziano or the Venetian mirror – this programme compares and contrasts two composers from the city of the Doges: on the one hand the celebrated Vivaldi, on the other a virtual unknown, Giovanni Battista Reali, who was born there in 1681, three years after Vivaldi, and died in 1751, ten years after his illustrious colleague. A violinist himself, he composed trio sonatas, including a very spectacular Folia, which Théotime Langlois de Swarte, Sophie de Bardonnèche, Hanna Salzenstein and Justin Taylor juxtapose with Vivaldi’s Folia, alongside other highly virtuosic pieces, many of them complete rediscoveries, since half of this programme has never been recorded before.

Anon, here is the rendition, whose joy will help lift up this Solemnity of Christ the King: