Vivaldi might have composed this oratorio with the celestial and the majestic in mind.
Breaking with tradition, even the sinfonia is grandiose and pompous. Not surprisingly, it is borrowed from the first and second movements of concerto grosso con molti strumenti that portends something big is about to happen.
Noteworthy are performances by Magdalena Kozena, and Marina Comparato.
Juditha Triumphans treasures one of Vivaldi's most beautiful gems and presto arias di furie, Armatae Face Et Anguibus. Taking the task of singing this battle cry, Marina Comparato met and overcame the high standard previously set by Cecilia Bartoli. While Bartoli immersed her character in incontrollable rage and furious vengeance, Comparato turned a spin and sank hers in fear and despair at the death of Holofernes. Her melisma in singing the second vocal run of the aria conveys the vulnerability and anguish of Vagaus, the eunuch, at the death of his beloved master. Both voices and coloraturas are beautiful in conveying different psyches of the same character. What a difference an opera makes for Marina Comparato! Her brilliance was very visible in Il Giustino, but her virtuosity is established here.
Magdalena Kozena simply sparkles in her role of Juditha, and singing of the virtuoso arias "Veni, Veni, Me Sequere Fidu", and "Agitata Infidu Flatu".