Vivaldi’s Lost Masterpiece is Found in Library Archives
by Christie Connolley
It isn’t April Fool’s Day, so it may be safe to assume the discovery of a new score for Vivalid’s opera Orlando Furioso is legit. Not like the last time we reported a new discovery from a bygone compositional master (and it is still not all peaches and cream for the mezzos because Vivaldi initially wrote the title role for a baritone, thankfully in the latter version he came to his senses and opted for a pants wearing diva!)
The Guardian is reporting that the manuscript found in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Turin in Vivaldi’s personal library has been dated to 1714, 13 years before Vivaldi composed his later masterpiece. It contains as many as 20 new arias, never heard before – all composed around the time that Vivaldi was also working on The Four Seasons.
“It’s a gift from heaven,” said Susan Orlando, a Vivaldi expert. Federico Maria Sardelli, the Vivaldi scholar who initially identified the master’s hand, said: “The music is completely new for everybody. It’s very exciting.” Although the manuscript was among vast numbers of Vivaldi papers in an Italian library, it had been overlooked because it did not bear a composer’s name.
The “new” Orlando will be given its world premiere at the Festival de Beaune on 20 July and recorded for release in November by the French label Naïve, for its Vivaldi Edition series.