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CHORAL AND VOCAL REVIEW

Antonio Vivaldi (rear) with River Choir and Orchestra Jan. 19

VIVALDI'S GLORIA A DUE IN UNIQUE RIVER CHOIR CONCERT

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, January 19, 2014

In an audacious programming twist, Sonoma County’s River Choir and instrumental colleagues performed Vivaldi’s Gloria (RV 589) Jan. 19 in two versions, distinct but also very much together.

Directed by Sonia Morse Tubridy, the 20 singers and instrumentalists in the dimly lit Guerneville Community Church first performed the popular 30-minute work in the normal fashion, the 12 parts having choruses, solo arias and short string, oboe and baroque trumpet interludes.

Following the performance there was a musical reprise, and the small audience was free to sing any of the four vocal parts using the standard Mason Martens score from 1961. It was verboten to sing with the soloists, and some of the arias that were sung by one voice were augmented by several ambitious chorus members of the same type of voice, during the second time around.

Ms. Tubridy, long associated with innovative programs and commanding a sure grasp of choral performances, led from the piano and vividly described Vivaldi’s music and the Gloria’s relationship to human needs and longings.

Strong orchestral playing came from cellist Wendy Reynolds, oboist Daniel Celidore, trumpeter Tom Hyde, violinists Lisa Doyle and David Hill, and violist Ellen Watson. Though the Church has muddy acoustics, the Domine Fili Unigente and the expansive Cum Sancto Spiritu finale were for me the dramatic highlights.

Choir members in this unique event were Kathy Dechant, Susan Johnson, Liza Loop, Lois Pearlman, Leslie Warren, Jennifer Crenshaw, Wallie Kass, Ruthan Tye, Kathrin Williams, Tom Lowrie, Dan Fein and Alby Kass, and the announced soloists were sopranos Gael Reed and Beth Freeman, and alto Jean Ashley