Charles Mackerras, Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Mozart: Don Giovanni (2008)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Charles Mackerras, Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Mozart: Don Giovanni (2008)

Charles Mackerras, Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Mozart: Don Giovanni (2008)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 770 Mb | Total time: 183:10 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Telars | # 3CD-80726 | Recorded: 1995

This is the second fine Don Giovanni we have had within the past year. Like Gardiner (Archiv), Mackerras includes every note Mozart wrote for both the original Prague version and the Viennese revival. Moreover, it is easier than ever for listeners to ‘programme in’ their preferred version: all Prague die-hards have to do is to bypass Don Ottavio’s ‘Dalla sua pace’ in Act I – a beautiful aria, in all conscience, though it holds up the dramatic action at a crucial stage. By coaxing a modern orchestra into a real awareness of period style, Mackerras seems to have the best of both worlds: the playing has admirable liveliness and intensity, and there are none of the intonation problems that so often plague actual period instruments. Mackerras does use natural trumpets, and their rasping sound lends real bite, not least to the overture’s chilling opening chords. In his introductory essay Mackerras argues that Mozart’s Andantes in ‘cut-time’ (ie two beats to the bar) are often taken too slowly.

Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston - Hasse: Marc' Antonio e Cleopatra (2010)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston - Hasse: Marc' Antonio e Cleopatra (2010)

Matthew Dirst, Ars Lyrica Houston - Hasse: Marc' Antonio e Cleopatra (2010)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 480 Mb | Total time: 46:22+43:28 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Dorian | # DSL-92115 | Recorded: 2010

Later in life Hasse’s operas would be spoken of in the same breath as the poet Metastasio, whose librettos he frequently set, as though the two were one: a high-minded, classicizing Marc Antonio e Cleopatra . It brought Hasse a degree of renown in wealthy Neapolitan circles, and a commission from the San Bartolomeo opera house for Il Sesostrate . That in turn blossomed into a lucrative match-up, with seven opera seria composed and produced in six years, as well as a number of comic intermezzo operas and a full-length opera buffa for other venues. Hasse was suddenly on the fast track to fame and contracts.

Cecilia Bartoli, Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti - St. Petersburg (2014)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Cecilia Bartoli, Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti - St. Petersburg (2014)

Cecilia Bartoli, Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti - St. Petersburg (2014)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 452 Mb | Total time: 77:57 | Scans included
Classical | Label: DECCA | # 478 6767 | Recorded: 2014

For the later part of her career, Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli has apparently settled on a campaign of major conceptual releases covering all-but-unknown repertory, and St. Petersburg fits right in. It's a collection of arias from operas written in the second half of the 18th century for the Russian imperial court, which had imported the best Italian and German composers money could buy. The names of all but Mozart's contemporary Domenico Cimarosa are unknown today. Most of the arias are in Italian, but a couple are in Russian, and to untutored ears Bartoli brings her trademark passion to them. This is the kind of release where one can quibble with any number of details. Bartoli sounds thick in some places, strained in others. The material is a bit uneven, with especially the last two pieces creating a bit of a letdown, although much of it does indeed live up to major-forgotten-works billing.

Mstislav Rostropovich, Iona Brown, Academy of St Martin in the Fields - Haydn: Cello Concertos 1 & 2 (2000)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Mstislav Rostropovich, Iona Brown, Academy of St Martin in the Fields - Haydn: Cello Concertos 1 & 2 (2000)

Mstislav Rostropovich, Iona Brown, Academy of St Martin in the Fields - Haydn: Cello Concertos 1 & 2 (2000)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 254 Mb | Total time: 49:34 | Scans included
Classical | Label: EMI | # 5 67234 2 | Recorded: 1975

This is a quite extraordinary achievement. Not the least of its merits is that it leaves you loving the music as never before. The orchestra gives splendid support and the sound is warm and ingratiating.
— Gramophone Magazine

Valer Sabadus, Michael Hofstetter, Recreation–Grosses Orchester Graz - Mozart Castrato Arias (2014)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Valer Sabadus, Michael Hofstetter, Recreation–Grosses Orchester Graz - Mozart Castrato Arias (2014)

Valer Sabadus, Michael Hofstetter, Recreation – Großes Orchester Graz - Mozart Castrato Arias (2014)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 223 Mb | Total time: 49:54 | Digital booklet (PDF)
Classical | Label: Oehms Classics | # OC1814 | Recorded: 2013

With opera arias of Hasse, he has become the shooting star amongst countertenors; Valer Sabadus appeared in Mozart roles for the Styriarte in December 2013.
The Salzburg master wrote for some of the greatest castrati of his time: Rauzzini, Consoli, Bedini. The young interpreter must therefore sing up into the heights of the soprano range; he succeeds in this wonderfully, as he also does in the exploration of profound feelings. His mentor Michael Hofstetter is on the podium, adding the orchestra‘s pulsing Mozartian vitality to this flawlessly beautiful singing.

Valer Barna-Sabadus, Michael Hofstetter, Hofkapelle Munchen - Johann Adolph Hasse: Reloaded (2012)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Valer Barna-Sabadus, Michael Hofstetter, Hofkapelle Munchen - Johann Adolph Hasse: Reloaded (2012)

Valer Barna-Sabadus, Michael Hofstetter, Hofkapelle München - Johann Adolph Hasse: Reloaded (2012)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 295 Mb | Total time: 62:28 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Oehms Classics | # OC830 | Recorded: 2011

The outstanding young countertenor Valer Barna-Sabadus has chosen works by a composer who was highly esteemed in his lifetime, but slipped into oblivion. The artist writes “My aim is to give new life to these works… one that places the individuality of the musical works in the forefront.”
Barna-Sabadus dazzles with the swiftness and surety of his execution. His voice seems to have a higher centre than, say, Andreas Scholl's…The last Didone aria takes more than 11 minutes: an entrancing vocal line above an orchestral simplicity which is often composed of staccato chords, which Barna-Sabadus captivatingly tracing the melodies.
— International Record Review

Christian Curnyn, Early Opera Company - Eccles: The Judgment of Paris, Three Mad Songs (2009)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Christian Curnyn, Early Opera Company - Eccles: The Judgment of Paris, Three Mad Songs (2009)

Christian Curnyn, Early Opera Company - Eccles: The Judgment of Paris, Three Mad Songs (2009)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 299 Mb | Total time: 62:14 | Digital booklet (PDF)
Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHAN 0759 | Recorded: 2008

This "Paris" is special because it shows Eccles trying to shunt musical theater in an all-English direction, and move it out of the shadow of the dominant Italian and French traditions. As Lindsay Kemp points out in verbose but thorough liner notes, the word settings, or underlay is for English speech rhythms and the score focuses more on line and melody that decoration and ornamentation. This is a Maske, so it feels much more like music from a play than an opera. The score is a theatrical and musical treat, lived up to in this vibrant and energized performance, conducted by Christian Curnyn and sung by the Early Opera Company. The soloists are well cast, lucid and each of them really grasp the difference between this and opera. The Three Mad Songs that end the program are just that, set pieces from various English plays where the heroin loses it, usually because a man has done her wrong. One song each is given to our Paris soloists, Lucy Crowe, Claire Booth and Susan Bickley, so Curnyn presents the listener with a latter day "Judgment," with us playing Paris. I'm awarding the apple to Ms. Crowe for her rendition of "Restless in Thought…" from "She Ventures, and He Wins.
– Hugo Munday

John Georgiadis, The London Virtuosi, Anthony Camden - Albinoni: Oboe Concerti (2000)

Posted By: ArlegZ
John Georgiadis, The London Virtuosi, Anthony Camden - Albinoni: Oboe Concerti (2000)

John Georgiadis, The London Virtuosi, Anthony Camden - Albinoni: Oboe Concerti (2000)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 875 Mb | Total time: 64:05+58:27+52:14 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Naxos | # 8.503050 | Recorded: 1992, 1994

The London Virtuosi use modern instruments, but their playing is fresh and refined and the digital recording is natural and beautifully balanced. The calibre of Anthony Camden’s solo contribution is readily shown in slow movements, matched by Georgiadis’s rapt, sensitive accompaniments. On the first disc Camden’s excellent colleague is Julia Girdwood, but for the two other collections Alison Alty takes over, and the partnership seems even more felicitous, with the two instruments blended quite perfectly. Also included is a Sinfonia arranged by Camden a Sinfonia concertante. This series can be strongly recommended on all counts.
–Penguin Guide

Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra - Handel: Judas Maccabaeus (2006)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra - Handel: Judas Maccabaeus (2006)

Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra - Handel: Judas Maccabaeus (2006)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 684 Mb | Total time: 77:49+78:52 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMX 2907374.75 | Recorded: 1993

Judas Maccabaeus (HWV 63) is an oratorio in three acts composed in 1746 by George Frideric Handel based on a libretto written by Thomas Morell. The oratorio was devised as a compliment to the victorious Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland upon his return from the Battle of Culloden (16 April 1746).

Jean-Claude Malgoire, La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy - Handel: Orlando (2010)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Jean-Claude Malgoire, La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy - Handel: Orlando (2010)

Jean-Claude Malgoire, La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy - Handel: Orlando (2010)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 881 Mb | Total time: 56:39+47:13+53:42 | Scans included
Classical | Label: K617 | # 617221 | Recorded: 2008

IIn his setting of Orlando, Handel offers us a score of remarkable dramatic power, diversity and originality. Orlando s mad scene and slumber aria are among the composer s most striking creations. Everything in the opera arouses admiration the extremely varied scoring, the exuberant vocal writing, the rhythmic invention and the supple melodies. On this new recording from K617, Jean-Claude Malgoire and La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy are joined by a cast of talented soloists in a fantastic production rivaling the best in the catalog.

Maurizio Arena, Orchestra of the San Francisco Opera, Shirley Verrett, Placido Domingo - Meyerbeer: L'Africaine (2011)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Maurizio Arena, Orchestra of the San Francisco Opera, Shirley Verrett, Placido Domingo - Meyerbeer: L'Africaine (2011)

Maurizio Arena, Orchestra and Chorus of the San Francisco Opera, Shirley Verrett, Plácido Domingo - Meyerbeer: L'Africaine (2011)
NTSC 4:3 (720x480) | Francais (LinearPCM, 2 ch) | 194 min | 5,45+6,94 Gb (2xDVD9)
Classical | Label: Arthaus Musik | Sub: Francais, English, Deutsch, Espanol, Italiano | Recorded: 1988

Plácido Domingo as Vasco da Gama and Shirley Verrett as the African queen, whom he has enslaved, star in Giacomo Meyerbeer‘s spectacular grand opera L’Africaine, in a colourfully exotic production by Lotfi Mansouri, under the sensitive musical direction of Maurizio Arena. The visual splendour of Wolfram Skalicki’s designs matches the vocal distinction of the cast in this seldom performed masterpiece. Director Brian Large captured this magical performance from the San Francisco Opera House for video in 1988.

Riccardo Muti, New Philharmonia Orchestra - Verdi: Un ballo in maschera (1997)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Riccardo Muti, New Philharmonia Orchestra - Verdi: Un ballo in maschera (1997)

Riccardo Muti, New Philharmonia Orchestra - Verdi: Un ballo in maschera (1997)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 568 Mb | Total time: 49:28+78:05 | Scans included
Classical | Label: EMI | # 5 66510 2 | Recorded: 1975

Betrayal and forgiveness are the themes of this complex opera: Amelia's betrayal of her husband, Renato (she is having an affair with Riccardo. governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony), and the betrayal and assassination of Riccardo by a group of conspirators. The libretto is better integrated than most of Verdi's operas written before Otello and Falstaff. It was originally about an historic incident, the assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden, but Roman censors, nervous about royal assassinations, forced the absurd relocation of the opera to colonial Boston. The music is prime middle-period Verdi, less spectacular than Il Trovatore, Rigoletto or La Forza del Destino, but it is warmly, richly expressive. It requires and rewards exceptionally good voices, and it gets them in this production. Outstanding work by Muti helps make this one of the best Verdi recordings ever made.
–Joe McLellan

Renato Fasano, I Virtuosi di Roma, Shirley Verrett, Anna Moffo - Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (2011)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Renato Fasano, I Virtuosi di Roma, Shirley Verrett, Anna Moffo - Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (2011)

Renato Fasano, I Virtuosi di Roma, Shirley Verrett, Anna Moffo - Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (2011)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 608 Mb | Total time: 62:42+66:20 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Sony | # 88697855712 | Recorded: 1965

Shirley Verrett makes a deeply impressive Orfeo, firm and pure in sound, classically restrained in expression; and her "Che farO", at a moderate, beautifully judged speed, is very finely sung, poised and quietly moving. The set is conducted by Renato Fasano, whose pacing of the score shows a very sure touch. The dance music has a grace and lightness, and a stylistic command, that one might not have expected from an orchestra which in those days seemed to be fed chiefly on a diet of Vivaldi.
–Gramophone

Federico Guglielmo, L'Arte dell'Arco - Vivaldi: Ottone in Villa (2010)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Federico Guglielmo, L'Arte dell'Arco - Vivaldi: Ottone in Villa (2010)

Federico Guglielmo, L'Arte dell'Arco - Vivaldi: Ottone in Villa (2010)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 710 Mb | Total time: 72:08+67:51 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Brilliant Classics | # 94105 | Recorded: 2008

Antonio Vivaldi’s fame as an opera composer is due in now small part to his incredible industry. He composed around 50 operas, and of these around 16 have survived complete – several substantial fragments of others have also survived. It is for his instrumental music that he remains one of the major baroque composers – on a par with Handel and J.S. Bach, however, in the world of opera at the time, only one other composer rivalled Vivaldi in the use of orchestral colour and the way in which the human voice was blended with the accompaniment. The writing for voice generally is on a very high level. The rival was of course Handel, and Vivaldi also was a considerable impressario as was his German/British colleague.

Michael Schneider, La Stagione - Gluck: Paride ed Elena (1992)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Michael Schneider, La Stagione - Gluck: Paride ed Elena (1992)

Michael Schneider, La Stagione - Gluck: Paride ed Elena (1992)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 536 Mb | Total time: 58:38+73:24 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Capriccio | # 60 027-2 | Recorded: 1991

Among Gluck's three Italian 'reform' operas, Paride ed Elena (1770) comes, in every respect, third. Gluck's reformist notion, of concentrating in each opera on a single dramatic theme, is followed here as in Orfeo ed Euridice and Alceste, but in this case the theme—certainly to us, but seemingly to Gluck's own audiences too—is less momentous. We cannot be as excited as we are by the grand, all-embracing love-death themes of the other two by what Gluck himself described as the portrayal in music of the different characters of two nations, the Phrygians and the Spartans, ''contrasting the rude and savage nature of the one with all that is delicate and soft in the other'' (Spartan austerity, that is, against Trojan voluptuousness).