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VIVALDI: Griselda

Composer(s):Vivaldi, Antonio
Period(s) Baroque (1600-1750)
Genre Classical Music
Category Opera
Catalogue 8.660211-13
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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Vivaldi’s Griselda, one of more than twenty operas, is based on a story retold in Boccaccio’s Il decamerone about the testing of Griselda’s patience and virtue by her royal husband through a series of cruel trials. The sense of drama that permeates many of Vivaldi’s more programmatic works, such as the Four Seasons, is very naturally carried over into his operas, especially with the use of so-called ‘simile’ arias, in which an emotional state is compared with various natural phenomena. Several very fine examples can be heard in Griselda, including Costanza’s extraordinary ‘Agitata da due venti’ in Act Two; the text compares love and duty with two contrary winds, and the setting is correspondingly wild,



Review By ,Fono Forum,July 2008


Review By David Denton, Naxos,January 2008

I reviewed the first UK production of the opera in 1983, and though that worthy performance drew favourable critical response, the score still remains largely forgotten. Vivaldi’s output for the stage had been considerable, his operas numbering around twenty, of which 16 still exist in autographed score. By the time he composed La Griselda in 1735 he was fifty-seven and in the final sector of his fruitful life. He had intended the leading role for Anna Giro a mezzo, who, rumour would have it, was also his lover, and this involved changes being made to the submitted libretto to give her ample opportunities to display her skills. Those talents were, apparently, more given to her acting ability than her vocal adroitness and Vivaldi had to use all of his skill to cover the



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