University of Hartford "H" Magazine - Winter 2019

University of Hartford

When the University of Hartford was incorporated just over 50 years ago by business and community leaders, they envisioned a center of education and culture for Greater Hartford. Read more...

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Sunday Afternoon at the Opera - Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans

02/25/2024 1:00 pm
02/25/2024 4:30 pm


Sunday Afternoon at the Opera host Keith Brown writes:

In addition to hundreds of concertos and dozens of operas. Antonio Vivaldi seems also to have written several oratorios. Juditha Triumphans (1716) is the only one of them to have come down to us intact. It has a Latin libretto by Jacopo Cassetti, who describes it as a "Sacred Military Oratorio." The story he took from the Old Testament Apocrypha. The beautiful Judith saves her native city Betulia from capture by the Assyrian invaders. She first charms and then assassinates their general Holofernes.

Juditha Triumphans is in essence a Venetian-style Italian opera without staging. Vivaldi's scoring calls for some unusual instrumentation very like that for his concertos. Hungaroton, the onetime Hungarian state record label, issued two recordings of this oratorio. The older one went over the air on this program on Sunday, April 18, 1990. That same year Hungaroton came out with a new, better, more historically-informed recorded interpretation. Baroque specialist conductor Nicolas McGegan leads the Hungarian period instrument ensemble Capella Savaria. This later, improved Juditha I last featured on Sunday, February 18, 1996.