La Sena Festeggiante by a great Venetian composer was composed for the French ambassador to Venice. It has many French references but is always
recognisably the work of Vivaldi.
‘Festeggiante’ means celebration; the concert performance sings the praises of the River Seine and then of Louis XV of France. The three soloists represent The Golden Age, soprano, Virtue, contralto, and the River Seine, bass. The work does not have a story, and in many ways the words don’t matter either, though the Italian sounds beautiful.
This is celebratory music for a summer’s evening which the programme describes as ‘Vivaldi’s Water Music’. The first half is bouncy and fast and the second slow and stately as befits homage to a great monarch.
Gillian Keith’s soprano performances at Buxton Festival always delight the audience. Hilary Summer sang well and Henry Waddington’s bass range was displayed impressively.
La Serenissima specialise in performing 18th century Venetian music and it was lovely to hear them and be able to see them on stage.
The audience at Buxton Opera House really appreciated a very pleasant evening.