Antonio Vivaldi spent decades first as violin master and then music master at a Venetian girls' orphanage, writing some of his best music for its residents. The Montreal-based Ensemble Caprice under Matthias Maute gives an exemplary performance of several vocal pieces for female voices, including the famous Gloria.
Though the voices are in soft focus, the tempi are brisk and the performances have a compelling forward drive. Shannon Mercer, Monika Mauch and Josée Lalonde are the fine soloists, bringing an emotional element to the often virtuosic scores. There's also a concerto - appropriately, here played by two soprano recorders - performed with the same detailed musicality.
Available for $18.99 at HMV (333 Yonge and other locations), 416-586-9668.