The Biblical story of "Noah's Flood" was taken quite literally well into the 19th Century, long after it had been proven by circumnavigation that the world was, and still is, roughly round. There was evidence of it, after all, in the shells and fish fossils to be found high in the Alps and Apennines. Louis Agassiz (1807-1873), the first theorist of a continental glaciation Ice Age and the founding father of science at Harvard College, was a dogged believer in the Flood. Nobody seemed to question that forty days and forty nights of rain would have sufficed to submerge the highest peaks; plainly no theologian-climatologist had ever spent a month and ten days in either Seattle or Stavanger. Volcanism was understood in a superstitious sort of way as a builder of mountains, but the science of plate tectonics was not given any credence until the second half of the 20th Century. Even Darwin failed to guess it, though he did speculate about unknown forces that raised and lowered islands and coral reefs in the Pacific.
Messina, Sicily, was rather well placed to appreciate volcanism as both a builder and a destroyer, with Mount Etna lowering over it. Messina was a city with some pretenses to grandeur and to culture in the 17th Century, certainly in comparison to its perennial rival Palermo. Messina had a musically busy Cathedral with a paid orchestra of four violins, four violas, a trombone, an archlute, and four organists, along with a chorus of unknown numbers. It would have been likely enough that other instruments and players were available for important occasions, but the manuscript for Michelangelo Falvetti's "Il Dilivio Universale" merely identifies it as a "dialogue for five voices and five instruments".
I'd be very surprised if the first performance of this "dialogue" in Messina in 1682 sounded much like this performance by Cappella Mediterranea of 18 instrumentalists, the Choeur de Chambre de Namur of 20 voices, six more vocal soloists, and Iranian percussionist Keyvan Chemirani! On the other hand, I'd probably be very disappointed if it didn't.
There were other composers of the baroque era who "painted" cataclysmic events in music, with thunderous dissonant chords, bizarre voice leadings, sudden changes of tempo, sudden silences, wind-machines offstage, and other such 'sound effects'. Jean-Fery Rebel's "Les Elements" comes to mind. This 'extended' interpretation of "Il Diluvio Universale" probably stretches any notion of authenticity a tad too far. For once, let's just ignore that indiscretion. This would be a rousing, rambunctious, highly original composition even in a severely scholarly performance by minimal forces. There's enough 'cake' in the music to justify the 'frosting'.
If I'd been invited to prepare a concert for the just-adjourned UN Conference of Climate Change in Durban, South Africa, I would gleefully have conducted "Il Diluvio Universale", even though Jehovah's rainbow-promise never again to afflict humankind with catastrophically rising waters is beginning to sound hollow.