785. Antonio had to restrict himself to simple passages, and he had to stay within the narrow vocal range of the girls. The work he produced is in many ways very similar to that prelude Marie Antoinette was trying to learn by Bach in that even though it was basically simple, it was relentless in its pathos. It was, as you know, baroque music, and so its pathos was logical, it was the logical pathos of the baroque period.
786. My father told me that he copied this work out in parts for the girls but Vivaldi said it would not be necessary to prepare it for the engravers. He did not consider it a thing of any importance. For this reason no copy of the work exists, and if my father had not told me about what happened concerning this work, this entire episode in Vivaldi's life would be unknown.
787. Vivaldi presented the work for the first time to his girl students and they sang it in their usual way, with no interest or emotion, mumbling the words, looking at the floor, fidgeting, anxious for the lesson to end so they could leave to do something else. It was a typical choir lesson.
788. The ideas in Vivaldi's oratorio acted on the girls in the choir exactly the same way as yeast in bread dough, but it was an unconscious sort of fermentation, they were not really aware of it. In their usual way, late at night they preformed parts of the work again for each other. Since they were alone they sang with gusto, subjecting the various lines to their usual ridicule.