For Advent this year, we'll be doing Vivaldi's Gloria, which I may or may not have done before. I don't have any firm memory of having sung it before, but it's so familiar to me that I feel like I must have. You might know it, too; it's one of Vivaldi's best-known and most frequently performed choral works. If you're not sure you've heard it, or you know you have and want to hear it again, here's a fine, albeit very fast, performance of it by the University of North Texas Collegium Singers and Baroque Orchestra.
It should be noted that we're not doing the entire work, and, as is our custom, it won't be performed all at once; rather, it will be interspersed throughout the worship service. So the first movement may be the introit, and the second the prayer response, and so on.
In January, to celebrate the reopening of the church after the seven-month construction project that is just now being finished up, the choir and several guest musicians will be singing another Gloria, this one by John Rutter. I know I haven't done that one, but I have heard it, and it's spectacular:
And also very challenging. We've got our work cut out for us if we're going to have it ready by January 11. I'm not worried about it, though. With all due modesty, we're a talented group of singers and we have an outstanding director, so I have no doubt it will go very well.
It can be a little confusing, though, practicing two works with the same name. At rehearsal on Thursday, when I went to pick up the new music, I found one of my fellow choir members studying the two Gloria scores intently. She asked, "What's the difference between these two editions?" "Well, mainly," I said, "it's that they're by different people." In her defense, she was only looking at the publisher, because she owns a copy of the Vivaldi and was trying to determine if the edition we're singing is the same as hers. It was still kind of funny, though.