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Paul Isom

Decent Vivaldi Gloria Edition needed urgently

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I am due to play for a concert in a Rome church which includes the Vivaldi Gloria with just organ accompaniment for two Italian and one English choir.  We're currently using the Ricordi edition which as am organist, I find utterly hopeless to play from.  It's clearly just an orchestra reduction and not really designed for an organist, just the rehearsal pianist.  I am desperate to find a more user-friendly edition which has been designed for the organist.  Attempts at making the Ricordi edition work for me have ended up with the most appalling results.  For instance 'Domine Deus' turns into a comedy act if I try and play the dotted bass line in the pedals as written, and if I just play a pedal note on the beat it turns the whole thing into a complete nonsense, and it's the same elsewhere in the piece.  I'm not a bad organist and can cope with most things thrown in front of me, but the Vivaldi is turning into an utter horror for me, and with three and half weeks to go I need a solution fast (an getting another organist is not an option!).

Any sensible suggestions about editions and solutions would be very gratefully received.

Paul

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I can't help feeling that playing accompaniments like this on the organ is a complete nonsense by definition, but it's a necessary evil if choirs are to be given the chance of singing these works. I don't know of an organ arrangement of the accompaniment, but I can't see any solutions to Domine Deus other than (a) playing the bass with the left hand, either with or without reinforcing the first note of each bar with the pedals, or (b) sustaining the pedal line and transferring the dotted rhythms to some added "continuo" notes in the left-hand (which is more fiddly and probably not worth the effort). I have played the Gloria quite a few times and I never did discover a solution that sounded properly idiomatic. I used to use the pedals only in the choral sections, avoiding anything heavier than a Bourdon and then rather sparingly in the opening movement and the said Domine Deus.

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Might I also suggest that it does depend in which Rome church you are playing it! I can think of several churches in Rome where I have conducted where whatever you play will be completely lost in the far too generous acoustic.

I had a similar situation in the Cathedral at Palestrina with some Handel. The keyboard part was an orchestral reduction and we spent hours editing it to make it sound musical on the organ. It was a complete waste of time because everything my organist played was lost in the acoustic. On the other hand the Palestrina we sang in the same celebration (Missa Papae Marcelli), fitted the building superbly!

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There are two different Ricordi editions, which doesn't help. There are lots of minor differences in the accompaniment (phrase marks mostly), and in some places the actual notes differ.

I tend to agree with Vox Humana about manuals only. It's years since I accompanied it, but looking at my copy I see that I played Domine Fili on the manuals - with pedals coupled but no stops for assistance where necessary. 

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Yes - it's the Casella one that has been altered quite a lot - and some bars excised. The orchestra/accompanist needs to use the same version. I attach a list of the changes a choir using Casella needs to make to match orchestral parts. (The opposite of what you would need but it shows where the problems are.) I also have  replacement sheets for the In terra (Casella to what Vivaldi wrote and visa versa).

Notes for Vivaldi.docx

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I did this a couple of months ago and used the (recentish?) Novello edition, as did the singers. Some of it is hard to get to work on the organ but not impossible. A pageturner is a big help.

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Many thanks for the responses, they have been really helpful.  I have finally plumped for the Barenreiter edition.  I find it easier to read and there is a different interpretation of the orchestral reduction which makes a little more sense.  I now need to check it against the awful Ricordi edition that everything tallies.  It's still pretty unwieldy to play, but the Barenreiter edition just makes the job slightly easier.

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