Vivaldi’s Gloria

… and how Carus-Verlag was founded

After discovering there was no satisfactory printed edition of Vivaldi’s Gloria, Günter Graulich decided without further ado to transcribe the music himself from the autograph manuscript for his choir. Demand for the edition grew, and with it the need to have it printed. This marked the birth of Carus-Verlag – and the conductor became the publisher.

I was always on the search for interesting works for the Motettenchor Stuttgart, which I founded and conducted for 50 years (1951–2001), works which had never been performed in Stuttgart, or not for a long time. I noted in a card index which works the various Stuttgart choirs performed, and Vivaldi was not amongst them. From the holdings of the Württembergische Landesbibliothek I was able to gain an overview of what Vivaldi had composed in the way of sacred choral music, and what had previously been available in print. Compared with now, this was not an easy task because there was no internet back then. To my surprise just a few works were available in print then, including the Gloria which I was primarily interested in, which the Italian musicologist Malipiero had edited for Ricordi. But I could not use his edition, because it turned out to be an arrangement with numerous alterations compared with the original – the addition of other instruments and even alterations in the musical text which the composer Malipiero believed would ‘improve’ the Gloria. So in 1968 I travelled to Turin to consult the mainly autograph manuscripts held there in the Biblioteca Reale. A bundle of Vivaldi’s church music contained the autograph score of the Gloria which I scrutinised and transcribed.

This is what the cover of the first edition of Vivaldi’s Gloria (1972) looked like – today it has changed its appearance!

With this basic material, and with the help of my wife, we hand-copied the complete performance material for my Stuttgart performance. Because I wanted to present Vivaldi’s church music with more than one work, I had microfilms of the Vesper Psalms and the Magnificat sent to me from Turin. After our Vivaldi concert in the Stiftskirche (1968) enquiries came in for hire material, particularly for the Gloria. That was difficult for me because I wanted my material to remain without any markings by other performers. Because there were no photocopiers at that time, any new material had to be copied out, and members of my choir helped with this. But the enquiries increased, so I decided to offer the Gloria for publication to Friedrich Hänssler, for whom I was then working as a freelance editor. But Hänssler hesitated and three years after my enquiry, he turned it down with the remark, “but publish it yourself”. He dismissed my objection that this was very difficult for me, and that I also did not have the necessary capital.

Antonio Vivaldi
Missae & Vesperae (Carus Classics)
Carus 83.325

His promise that he would take care of the marketing and distribution led to me approach the music engraver Reiner Knierim, who set the score and performance material of the Gloria in Notaset, and the work was printed by Markert printers in Steinenbronn, where we then lived. [Werner Böttler worked there as an apprentice at the time. He later founded his own printers in Walddorfhäslach and we still work with them today.] The investment needed to cover the production costs was lent us by a choir member, whom we were able to repay after just a few months because demand was surprisingly high. From the very beginning the Gloria was a bestseller, and it remains so.
In 1972 Carus-Verlag was founded, with Vivaldi’s Gloria as its Opus 1. Until 1988 the work was distributed by Hänssler-Verlag, whose series 1 to 39 were acquired by Carus four years later.

Günter Graulich (*1926), Publisher founder

Antonio Vivaldi

Gloria in D major

The Gloria in D major RV 589 is Vivaldi’s most famous sacred work and it is among his most important church music compositions. The Carus edition, the publisher’s inaugural music edition, helped considerably to turn this musically impressive and varied work into one of Vivaldi’s most popular choral works today. 

Gloria in D major(App)

It’s one thing above all, a magnificent choral work! Of course there are also solo movements, but the choir has the lion’s share of the musical action and has not only a lot to sing, but very varied movements of this most impressive setting of the Gloria. That’s why it’s always worth being well prepared for rehearsals.

Gloria in D major (Carus Choir Coach)

It’s one thing above all, a magnificent choral work! Of course there are also solo movements, but the choir has the lion’s share of the musical action and has not only a lot to sing, but very varied movements of this most impressive setting of the Gloria. That’s why it’s always worth being well prepared for rehearsals.

Magnificat

The office as a priest and the long years as musical director of the Ospedale della Pietà (a large orphonage in Venice) both occasioned and inspired him to compose church music in large variety. The Magnificat RV 160 has come down to us in two versions.  

Credo in G major

It is often overlooked that Antonio Vivaldi was not only skilled at composing instrumental music, but that he also experimented with long-established forms of sacred vocal music with equal sensitivity and enjoyment. The publication of a critical edition of his less well-known Credo RV 592 makes one of these works available to a wider public. 

Laetatus sum

The 121st Psalm of the Vulgata forms part of the Roman Catholic liturgy for Vespers on the feast da of a virgin (namely, the Virgin Mary). Vivaldi’s setting, given its first edition, is one of his simplest psalm statements that have come down to us.

Introduzione e Gloria

Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria setting RV 588 is overshadowed by the more prominent work RV 589, although there is no musical reason for this, and the two works are actually related. The reason for this probably lies in the short introduction (aria and recitative) customary at this time, as it sets a sacred, and not a liturgical text. 

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