As educational and charitable institutions, the Venetian ospedale were quite unique. Although they began as simply schools for homeless and orphaned girls, by the Baroque era they had became flourishing musical institutions. By Vivaldi’s time, the ospedale also hired male teachers and performers, and even admitted female students who paid tuition for study! As civic rather than church institutions, the ospedale were able to ignore Vatican restrictions on female performers. Young musicians need musical literature, and at the Ospedale del’Pietá Vivaldi composed countless instrumental concertos as well as this oratorio (here arranged for instrumental ensemble). One of Vivaldi’s most elaborate works for the Pietá, “Judith Triumphant” tells the story of a brave Hebrew woman who decapitates the enemy general Holofernes.