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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beauty and the beast in Betulia
Antonio Vivaldi, not only wrote wonderful concerti but also he wrote several vocal works, as master of the chorus of L'ospedale della Pieta for orphan girls. This oratorio is the only we have of the four he wrote. And it is a pleasure listening it.

Though the theme of Judith, the heroine who saved Betulia from Holofernes has been depicted in several...
Published on July 22, 2004 by M. Ferrer

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Furiae! Furiae! Furiae!
Vivaldi might have composed this oratorio with the celestial and the majestic in mind.

Breaking with tradition, even the sinfonia is grandiose and pompous. Not surprisingly, it is borrowed from the first and second movements of concerto grosso con molti strumenti that portends something big is about to happen.

Noteworthy are performances by Magdalena...
Published on September 20, 2006 by Dennis Figueroa


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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beauty and the beast in Betulia, July 22, 2004
This review is from: Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans (Vivaldi Edition) (Audio CD)
Antonio Vivaldi, not only wrote wonderful concerti but also he wrote several vocal works, as master of the chorus of L'ospedale della Pieta for orphan girls. This oratorio is the only we have of the four he wrote. And it is a pleasure listening it.

Though the theme of Judith, the heroine who saved Betulia from Holofernes has been depicted in several compositions, like Betulia Liberata by Mozart. The vision Vivaldi has of the whole scene is more about the seduction of Holofernes than the religious aspects of the theme. A seduction that appears in all its glory in the aria "veni veni me sequere fide".

Although I was used to the version recorded by the King's Consort with Ann Murray I was impressed by Kozena. She has a great elegance singing and , after listening her carefully I think she is my new favourite. Her voice has personality but never shadows the rol she sings.

It is really a wonderful new recording and I recommend it for those who love classical music, and even to those who do not like Vivaldi.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A master work, January 19, 2002
This review is from: Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans (Vivaldi Edition) (Audio CD)
We tend to forget tha Vivaldi was also an opera and church music composer. This oratorio, the only survival piece of the four we know he composed, is a revelation.
The performance is flawless and Magdalena Koczena shows why she is one of the leading singers in the world, plus one interested in more thna the repetead repertorie. The orchestra in historical instruments adds to the quality.
The booklet of information is complete with very interesting description on how decisions were made for this recording.
Buy it without hesitation.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Furiae! Furiae! Furiae!, September 20, 2006
By 
Dennis Figueroa (Orange County, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans (Vivaldi Edition) (Audio CD)
Vivaldi might have composed this oratorio with the celestial and the majestic in mind.

Breaking with tradition, even the sinfonia is grandiose and pompous. Not surprisingly, it is borrowed from the first and second movements of concerto grosso con molti strumenti that portends something big is about to happen.

Noteworthy are performances by Magdalena Kozena, and Marina Comparato.

Juditha Triumphans treasures one of Vivaldi's most beautiful gems and presto arias di furie, Armatae Face Et Anguibus. Taking the task of singing this battle cry, Marina Comparato met and overcame the high standard previously set by Cecilia Bartoli. While Bartoli immersed her character in incontrollable rage and furious vengeance, Comparato turned a spin and sank hers in fear and despair at the death of Holofernes. Her melisma in singing the second vocal run of the aria conveys the vulnerability and anguish of Vagaus, the eunuch, at the death of his beloved master. Both voices and coloraturas are beautiful in conveying different psyches of the same character. What a difference an opera makes for Marina Comparato! Her brilliance was very visible in Il Giustino, but her virtuosity is established here.

Magdalena Kozena simply sparkles in her role of Juditha, and singing of the virtuoso arias "Veni, Veni, Me Sequere Fidu", and "Agitata Infidu Flatu".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, dramatic music, December 8, 2007
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E. Lyons (Ann Arbor, MI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans (Vivaldi Edition) (Audio CD)
If you enjoy early opera you will love this. As it stands, it really is just like a Vivaldi opera (for me anyway)--i.e. there is no narrator as in many oratorios, and the arias and choruses all advance the drama. It has absolutely beautiful choruses, and these are a sort of revelation for fans of Vivaldi opera (because his operas don't really have any big complex choruses--if only opera seria conventions had allowed them!! There are a few here in Juditha Triumphans, but the long one that ends Act 1 is especially moving). The other difference from his operas is, of course, that it is in Latin, but the singers still sing very dramatically and act well through the text just as if they were singing Italian. Anyway, the quality of the music is on a par with Orlando Furioso, in my opinion.

By the way, I can't believe how horrible the album covers are for this complete Vivaldi series by the Naive label. They all feature models in very unimaginative examples of fashion photography that have, usually, absolutely nothing to do with the work. I honestly think these covers might put some people off of buying the records because they look like (bad) pop album covers. Ugh! There is a whole world of beautiful, public domain art out there to choose from, including many pieces of religious art that depict the very subject of this oratorio, so what's with the model with the rose in her teeth? Anyway, it is too bad, because the recordings in this series are very high quality.

By the way, I was not bothered by the acoustics on this recording. I found it rich and full and nice and not over-resonant as some say here (including the amazon reviewer). But that aspect of a recording is always so subjective, I find...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Voices are Golden, September 17, 2009
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Carl M. "listen & love" (Winston-Salem, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans (Vivaldi Edition) (Audio CD)
This work and this recording are exquisite in every imaginable way. These nightingales will sing you out of your socks and cause you to levitate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three discs of bliss!, November 23, 2008
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This review is from: Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans (Vivaldi Edition) (Audio CD)
Beautifully written, sung and produced. A rarely performed masterwork that is well worth buying and listening to again and again. Viva Vivaldi!
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Passez votre chemin, April 25, 2011
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This review is from: Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans (Vivaldi Edition) (Audio CD)
L'unique Oratorio d'Antonio méritait mieux que cette course contre la montre, et des couleurs un peu plus fines : trop pâteux.... Bon, seule consolation, la version dirigée par Robert King (Hyperion) avec les somptueuses Anne Murray, Maria Cristina Liehr et Suzan Bicley : de loin la meilleure !
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Vivaldi:  Juditha Triumphans (Vivaldi Edition)
Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans (Vivaldi Edition) by Antonio Vivaldi (Audio CD - 2001)
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