As much as I love all of this music I still find that I enjoy certain choirs a little more than others. I guess it’s only natural to have favorites. I’ve been trying to collect all of the available CD’s by the American Boychoir, a group that I never get tired of listening to. Their version of Amazing Grace always makes me pause to listen closely and songs like There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy always make me smile.
I would never have believed it possible but I came across an album by the American Boychoir that I don’t really care for. It’s a CD that was recorded in 1991 and is titled Dixit Dominus.
There are two compositions on here, one by Handel and the other by Vivaldi.
They both have the same lyrics which are from Psalm 110.
The title means The Lord Said.
The music is nice and it’s all very well done, but they are singing with the Albemarle Consort of Voices, an adult mixed choir.
I have nothing against adult mixed choirs but, seriously, I can’t tell when the boys are singing and when the women sopranos are singing. It all runs together. That's my only complaint about this album.
According to the booklet that came with the CD there is a reason for the mixing of the choirs. While Handel’s music was composed for choirs of boys, men and castrati, Vivaldi wrote specifically for girls and young women. He was associated with the Ospedale Della Pieta, a school for orphaned girls that stressed musical education.
It’s also sort of interesting that the Vivaldi piece was only discovered fairly recently, having been attributed to a different composer all this time.
What’s very good here is the music which is provided by The Eighteenth Century Ensemble of Period Instruments. It’s so appropriate.