William Christie, Les Arts Florissants - Handel: Orlando (1996)

Posted By: ArlegZ
William Christie, Les Arts Florissants - Handel: Orlando (1996)

William Christie, Les Arts Florissants - Handel: Orlando (1996)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 831 Mb | Total time: 65:99+51:34+52:13 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Erato | # 2564 67743-0 | Recorded: 1996

The Handel opera boom continues apace. And no wonder. Over the last 20 years singers, directors and audiences have collectively discovered that these musically rich works are also penetrating human dramas. And no Handel opera is more psychologically astute than “Orlando.” … The formidable conductor William Christie, in his 1996 recording, draws a fervent, deeply expressive yet stylistically informed performance from his acclaimed early-music ensemble, Les Arts Florissants, and a fine cast headed by the mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon in the title role.
- Anthony Tommasini

Carlos Mena, Philippe Pierlot, Ricercar Consort - De Aeternitate (2001)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Carlos Mena, Philippe Pierlot, Ricercar Consort - De Aeternitate (2001)

Carlos Mena, Philippe Pierlot, Ricercar Consort - De Æternitate (2001)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 338 Mb | Total time: 67:02 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Mirare | # MIR 9911 | Recorded: 2000

From the beginning of time songs of mourning, sorrow and lamentation have been a part of Western music. Aristotle had written that nothing was more powerful than rhythm and song for imitating all the turmoil of the soul. Composers of the Baroque Period strove to deal with nothingness and eternity by exploring the utter depths of the heart. And this is what these songs are all about.

Estevan Velardi, Alessandro Stradella Consort - Stradella: Qual prodigio e ch'io miri?: Sonata: Lasciate ch'io respiri (2014)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Estevan Velardi, Alessandro Stradella Consort - Stradella: Qual prodigio e ch'io miri?: Sonata: Lasciate ch'io respiri (2014)

Estevan Velardi, Alessandro Stradella Consort - Stradella: Qual prodigio è ch'io miri?; Sonata a otto viole con una tromba; Lasciate ch'io respiri (2014)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 331 Mb | Total time: 65:10 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Bongiovanni | # GB2474-2 | Recorded: 2000

The first work, ‘Qual prodigio è ch’io miri?’, is often cited, quite correctly, as a source for some of Handel’s ‘plague’ chorus melodies in ‘Israel in Egypt’ – including flies and lice, hailstones and ‘he led them forth like sheep’. But I imagine not all that many listeners will have heard Stradella’s original music, and hearing these passages in their original form is in itself a cause of fascination and delight; for a sample, try the Sinfonia (track 9). The work takes the form of a conversation between two male lovers and the female object of their affections, and is here sung by two sopranos and a bass. All three singers are excellent - as is the superb Alessandro Stradella Consort, directed by Estevan Velardi, who have already brought us several first-class recordings of Italian baroque music including other works by Stradella.

Alexander Weimann, Pacific Baroque Orchestra - Handel: Orlando (2013)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Alexander Weimann, Pacific Baroque Orchestra - Handel: Orlando (2013)

Alexander Weimann, Pacific Baroque Orchestra - Handel: Orlando (2013)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 674 Mb | Total time: 59:47+48:41+49:29 | Scans included
Classical | Label: ATMA Classique | # ACD2 2678 | Recorded: 2012

The complete version of Orlando, considered to be one of Handel’s most successful operas, is presented for the first time on a Canadian label. Singing the title role is the English countertenor Owen Willetts, a rising figure on the international scene. He is joined by the American soprano Amanda Forsythe, and several of the finest Canadian singers: Karina Gauvin, Allyson McHardy, and Nathan Berg.The Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO) is the only professional period-instrument orchestra west of Toronto. Under the direction of renowned conductor and harpsichordist Alexander Weimann, the PBO is recognized as one of Canada’s most exciting and innovative ensembles performing “early music for modern ears.” This recording was produced following Orlando’s performances at the 2012 Vancouver Early Music Festival.

Charles Mackerras, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice - Handel: Orlando (1999)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Charles Mackerras, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice - Handel: Orlando (1999)

Charles Mackerras, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice - Handel: Orlando (1999)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 879 Mb | Total time: 64:00+52:53+53:32 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Mondo Musica | # MFOH 10502 | Recorded: 1985

This is a fine alternative to Christopher Hogwood’s period performance on L’Oiseau-Lyre, and will be welcomed heartily by fans of Marilyn Horne. Orlando is a great role, filled with arias and scenes acrobatic, tender, and exclamatory (he goes mad in Act 2 and stays that way for much of Act 3). In l985, when this present set was taped live at Venice’s La Fenice, Marilyn Horne was still in control of her awesome powers–her breath control, fluidity, big, round tones, impeccable diction, and sheer intelligence still astound after all these years. And she’s certainly superior to the nasty-sounding, if dramatic, James Bowman for Hogwood. Lella Cuberli’s Angelica is fine but is outclassed by Arleen Auger; however, I prefer Jeffrey Gall’s countertenor Medoro to Catherine Robbins’ girly one (both for Hogwood again). Giorgio Surjan is okay as Zoroastro and Adelina Scarabelli’s Dorinda is nicely warbled. Charles Mackerras leads with more rubato and larger, more modern forces than Hogwood, but each makes his point. As I said, it’s hands down, really: Horne fans won’t be able to do without this–and Handel-lovers will be pleased too.
–Robert Levine

Nicholas McGegan, FestspielOrchester Gottingen - Handel: Orlando (2008)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Nicholas McGegan, FestspielOrchester Gottingen - Handel: Orlando (2008)

Nicholas McGegan, FestspielOrchester Göttingen - Handel: Orlando (2008)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 804 Mb | Total time: 65:29+50:20+50:51 | Scans included
Classical | Label: NDR kultur | Recorded: 2008

Den auf Ludovico Ariosts „Orlando furioso“ (Der rasende Roland/1516) basierenden Stoff hatte ein unbekannter Bearbeiter nach dem Libretto von Carlo Sigismondo Capece (Rom 1711) erstellt und eine ganze Reihe Veränderungen vorgenommen, die Händels Oper zu einer seiner originellsten Londoner Opern werden ließ.
Außer, dass er mit Dorinda eine gänzlich neue Rolle eingeführt hat (und die zu einer ganz zentralen Figur des Stückes wird), bricht das Stück mit vielen Konventionen der opera seria seiner Zeit. So eröffnet nicht der „Held“ die Oper, sondern eine Nebenfigur, der Magier Zoroastro, der zudem noch von einem Bass gesungen wird, wobei dieser Stimmgattung bis dahin sonst nur kleine Partien (oft Diener) vorbehalten waren. Gar eine „Frechheit“ war es demzufolge auch, dass er dieses dann auch noch mit einer heroischen Arie macht. Der Grund dafür war, dass Händel zu dieser Zeit der herausragende und gefeierte Bassist Antonio Montagnana zur Verfügung stand (diesem war letztes Jahr bei den Händel-Festspielen in Göttingen 2007 sogar ein eigenes Konzert gewidmet).

Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music - Handel: La Resurrezione (1988)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music - Handel: La Resurrezione (1988)

Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music - Handel: La Resurrezione (1988)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 506 Mb | Total time: 61:21+48:16 | Scans included
Classical | Label: DECCA | # 421 132-2 | Recorded: 1981

Christopher Hogwood directs a clean-cut, vigorous performance with an excellent cast. Emma Kirkby is at her most brilliant in the coloratura for the Angel, Patrizia Kwella sings movingly as Mary Magdalene and Carolyn Watkinson as Cleophas adopts an almost counter-tenor like tone. Ian Partridge's tenor has a heady lightness as St John, and David Thomas sings stylishly. Excellent recording.
– Penguin Guide

Karl Richter, London Philharmonic Orchestra, John Alldis Choir - Handel: Messiah (1990)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Karl Richter, London Philharmonic Orchestra, John Alldis Choir - Handel: Messiah (1990)

Karl Richter, London Philharmonic Orchestra, John Alldis Choir - Handel: Messiah (1990)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 806 Mb | Total time: 61:50+59:24+36:47 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | # 419 797-2 | Recorded: 1973

It therefore seems appropriate to highlight recommend this present performance of Karl Richter's, which stands firmly in the Romantic Messiah tradition preserved through the last century. Unlike most modern recordings, this Messiah utilizes a full orchestra, large chorus, and operatic soloists who do no ornamentation.
Richter's conducting confirms his status as the then-reigning Bach expert–squarely Germanic, displaying broad, stately tempi and a good sense of baroque rhythm. The opening overture is vested with weight and great seriousness, but doesn't drag–you may miss the double-dotting often read into the score if that's what you're used to, but the more traditional approach succeeds very well on its own terms. In particular the "Pastoral Symphony" is very pretty and lovingly phrased. The sound he draws from the orchestra is bit relaxed and mellow (the strings sound almost lazy in places), but very deep and appropriate to his stately conception.

Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra - Handel: La Resurrezione (1990)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra - Handel: La Resurrezione (1990)

Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra - Handel: La Resurrezione (1990)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 518 Mb | Total time: 62:15+33:35 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMU 407027/28 | Recorded: 1989

Although La resurrezione, composed in Rome in 1708, pre-dates Handel’s more familiar English oratorios by many years, it’s a tremendously vibrant and dramatically compelling score that deserves much wider currency. Certainly Nicholas McGegan’s energetically delivered and beautifully sung performance serves the music to its best advantage.

Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre - Handel: Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (1988)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre - Handel: Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (1988)

Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre - Handel: Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (1988)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 688 Mb | Total time: 65:57+70:19 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Erato | # ECD 75532 | Recorded: 1988

This is Handel's very first oratorio, to a libretto by Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili and with a title that translates as "The Triumph of Time and Disillusionment" (HWV 46a). The work, comprising two sections, was composed in spring 1707 and premiered that summer in Rome. Its most famous aria is "Lascia la spina", later recast as "Lascia ch'io pianga" in his 1711 opera Rinaldo.

Cecilia Bartoli, Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre - Opera proibita (2005)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Cecilia Bartoli, Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre - Opera proibita (2005)

Cecilia Bartoli, Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre - Opera proibita (2005)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 345 Mb | Total time: 71:55 | Scans included
Classical | Label: DECCA | # 475 7029 | Recorded: 2005

Cecilia Bartoli's new CD features a collection of music that could not be heard in her native Rome at the start of the 18th century due to Papal censorship. Theaters, the Church felt, were places of evil and corruption and operas led people to immorality. But some music-loving senior members of the priesthood asked composers to write oratorios and cantatas–indeed, operas without staging, essentially–for their own private entertainment. Call it what you will, the music is sensational–by turns virtuosic, gentle, and playful–and always expressive: just right, it seems, for Cecilia Bartoli's temperament. The opening aria on the CD, a call for peace in the name of Jesus, is, in fact, a dazzling martial air with trumpets blaring and the voice going through an amazing array of coloratura fireworks. It shows Bartoli at her most aggressive. The listener is practically hurled back from the speakers when she begins, with rapid-fire runs and trills and cascades of notes, all perfectly in place. Showy arias are offset by several tender ones ("Lascia la spina" from Handel's Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno returns in the composer's Rinaldo, four years later, as the now-famous "Lascia ch'io pianga"), and Bartoli exhibits again, her many, many levels of pianissimo and sensitive phrasing. Marc Minkowski and his Musiciens are just right for this repertoire and back Bartoli up superbly. This is a fascinating project, rivetingly performed and presented.
–Robert Levine

The Art of Cecilia Bartoli (2002)

Posted By: ArlegZ
The Art of Cecilia Bartoli (2002)

The Art of Cecilia Bartoli (2002)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 353 Mb | Total time: 73:39 | Scans included
Classical | Label: DECCA | # 473 380-2 | Recorded: 1992-2002

Ein Rückblick auf zehn Jahre Cecilia Bartoli: Die Arie "Non piú mesto" aus der 1992 entstandenen Gesamtaufnahme von Rossinis La Cenerentola ist das älteste Tondokument dieser Anthologie, und mancher, der wie der Rezensent diese Cenerentola damals erworben hat, wird sich gut erinnern an die unbeschreiblich elektrisierende Wirkung, die die junge Italienerin mit ihrem vollblütigen Stimmmaterial, ihrem Temperament und ihrer faszinierenden Virtuosität auf ihn ausübte. Das Besondere: Die Geschwindigkeit der rasend schnellen Koloraturen geht niemals zu Lasten des Ausdrucks oder der Intensität.

Cecilia Bartoli, Adam Fischer, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment - The Salieri Album (2003)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Cecilia Bartoli, Adam Fischer, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment - The Salieri Album (2003)

Cecilia Bartoli, Adam Fischer, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment - The Salieri Album (2003)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 325 Mb | Total time: 68:14 | Scans included
Classical | Label: DECCA | # 470 631-2 | Recorded: 2003

Antonio Salieri is, unfortunately, best known as Mozart's great Viennese rival. Some of his work has appeared on recordings, and he was clearly an interesting composer of well-crafted, entertaining music. But now that a singer with the stature and prodigious gifts of Cecilia Bartoli has undertaken an entire CD of his opera arias, he may just become a quasi-household name. Here he proves himself a composer who wrote for virtuosos; Bartoli is nothing if not a vituoso. And, indeed, this CD opens with an impressive bang: An aria from La secchia rapita features a wild vocal line complete with wild coloratura, huge leaps, a range from low G to high D flat (Bartoli flirts more and more with the soprano range while using her chest register even more forcefully!), and vast dynamic changes accompanied by a full orchestra augmented with grand, martial trumpets. Other arias–one from Palmira, Regina di Persia, for example–are more introspective and are spun out with a graceful, seamless legato and seemingly endless pianissimo.

Cecilia Bartoli, Bryn Terfel, Myung-Whun Chung, Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia - Cecilia & Bryn: Duets (1999)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Cecilia Bartoli, Bryn Terfel, Myung-Whun Chung, Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia - Cecilia & Bryn: Duets (1999)

Cecilia Bartoli, Bryn Terfel, Myung-Whun Chung, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia - Cecilia & Bryn: Duets (1999)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 233 Mb | Total time: 54:06 | Scans included
Classical | Label: DECCA | # 458 928-2 | Recorded: 1998

Superlatives don't do justice to this priceless and incomparable collection of duets by opera's two most charismatic singers, whose interpretations are brimming with nuance only the truly gifted could capture. However pleasing Cecilia Bartoli's renditions of Cherubino and others in Mozart Arias, the depth of Susanna's emotional life that Bartoli conveys has yet to be even imagined by other sopranos, as she rips through opera's boundaries, creating her very own Fach and threatening the jobs of soubrettes the world over. Once she and Bryn Terfel draw you into their world of stellar, multidimensional creations, there's no escape from pleasure; in their talented hands, recitative becomes as interesting as any aria. The duo's inherent charm overcomes Bartoli's difficulties with German and the dramatic Terfel's with coloratura; however, their sincere attempts to meet these challenges are most endearing.
- Barbara Eisner Bayer

Cecilia Bartoli, Bernhard Forck, Akademie fur Alte Musik - Gluck: Italian Arias (2001)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Cecilia Bartoli, Bernhard Forck, Akademie fur Alte Musik - Gluck: Italian Arias (2001)

Cecilia Bartoli, Bernhard Forck, Akademie für Alte Musik - Gluck: Italian Arias (2001)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 305 Mb | Total time: 67:34 | Scans included
Classical | Label: DECCA | # 467 248-2 | Recorded: 2001

After the pan-global success of her disc of Vivaldi arias, mezzo Cecilia Bartoli is clearly a woman on a mission to rescue the neglected operatic output of otherwise well-known composers. Of the eight arias by Gluck on this disc, six have never been recorded before–and it's likely that the operas they have been taken from will be unknown to all but the most obsessive buffs. Unfortunately, even Bartoli can't quite make a case for all the material here: it sometimes lapses into the excessive passage-work and routine arpeggios which are especially obvious in the first track. But there's also plenty of Gluck at his most inspired, writing with acute sympathy for a woman going mad at the thought of her lover's impending execution (track 3) and screwing dramatic tension to almost Verdian levels with the words "estremi sospiri" (final breaths) in an aria from La clemenza di Tito (track 7). Bartoli is as amazing as ever, blending her trademark intensity and almost unbearably gorgeous lyricism into an explosive mix of vocal fabulousness. She is accompanied with period vigour by the Akademie für Alte Musik.
–Warwick Thompson