7:30 PM March 26th, 2011 at Ryerson United Church
The place is Venice. The time: exactly 300 years ago. The performers of the day: young women virtuosi in singing and playing instruments, students of the famed Venetian ospedali schools for illegitimate girls. Their music teachers were among the finest composers in Europe: Vivaldi, Porpora, Legrenzi and others, and the music-making so exquisite that people traveled from across the continent just to hear it. The first half of this concert alternated orchestral works by Antonio Vivaldi (including the beautiful Primavera from The Four Seasons), Jean-Baptiste Lully, and Johann Rosenmüller with works involving the choir, including Guivanni Legrenzi’s beautiful duet “Ave Regina Coelorum” (choir and continuo) and Nicola Porpora’s Magnificat (with strings and continuo). The second half opened with a solo soprano performing Sigismondo d’India’s song “O Primavera, Gioventu dell’Anno” with harpsichord, which was followed by Vivaldi’s familiar and ever-fresh “Gloria”.