Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans

Juditha Triumphans is an oratorio by Antonio Vivaldi, the only one of four he is known to have written which survived. Its date of composition is not precisely known, but is a metaphorical meditation on the story of Judith’s Old Testament triumph over the pagans, in light of the Christian defense of Corfu against the Ottoman Turks in 1716 – fitting in the wake of the memorial of Saint John of Capistrano, and his own role in the defense of Belgrade three centuries before (the Turks have a long history of their attempt to conquer Christendom). But, as one commentator put it, Vivaldi always makes one feel joyful, whatever his theme: