When Vivaldi comes to life

When Vivaldi comes to life

Ingrid Chang

Winter Concert takes you away into the Venetian world for a night

The third piece performed, "Concerto for four violins Op. 3 No. 10", allows solo violinists to have the spotlight. Other students prepare themselves as well before they show the numerous intricacies for the piece. Photo by Ingrid Chang.Standing at the back, students in silky red dresses, warm blue dresses, suits and black shirts start the first movement of Antonio Vivaldi’s "Gloria in D Major". Violins and cellos accompany the voices and slowly, note by note, the music comes together with each person in sync with everyone else. Captivating and emotional, the piece proved to be the highlight of the Venetian Music Celebration Winter Concert.

String and Chamber Orchestras, all the choirs including a, b, concert and variations, and the wind ensemble brass all made appearances at the Venetian Music Celebration concert. Music directors and teachers John Galli, Jon Fey and Shari D’epiro played big roles in making the concert. With over 200 people performing, the concert that featured music of Antonio Vivaldi definitely made it through. 

On the night of Jan. 28, the concert brought the string orchestra and choirs onto one stage for a unique performance of all 12 movements of "Gloria in D major" composed by Antonio Vivaldi. But even before that, choirs, brass and chamber orchestra each had their separate but equally captivating performances.

The "Sonata Pian’e Forte" composed by Giovanni Gabrieli gave the concert a majestic introduction. Though there was an unnecessary sudden blare near the beginning of the piece, the audience’s attention was held throughout. Students were positioned at the front of the stage as well as in the back of the auditorium. The sounds appeared more defined with this line-up. Nothing sounded overpowering, something that may be common for the brass instruments.

The concert maintained its steady performance when all the choirs sang "When I Sing My Love, Before You". But before long, chamber orchestra surprised and touched listeners even more with its delicate treatment towards the sound in the first movement of Vivaldi’s "Concerto for Four Violins in B minor". Each instrument’s distinctness, especially the four violins in the front, gave a well-rounded feeling. As the most interesting and pleasant piece of the night, it was clean and crisp but also filled with the ups and downs: the dynamics. The students intently focused on their playing from the beginning to end. And they indeed brought out the musicality, artistry and style of the piece, perfectly leading up to the next and last performance of the night, "Gloria in D Major". 

As the entire cast of performers, from singers to players, got ready for the final part of the program, the stage filled up completely. With around 200 people on stage, the whole auditorium was beautifully and surprisingly filled with calm voices that balanced with the music from the orchestra.

It was as if a recording from an album suddenly appeared live. Select parts that were louder kept the audience engaged. Soloists throughout the piece, the musicians and the conductor brought out something special from each of the 12 movements of the piece. The music brought composers’ emotions to life whether it was in the first "Sonata Pian’e Forte" or in the last fugue of the night. Vivaldi, Gastoldi and Gabrieli would have been proud.