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George Frideric Händel – Imeneo

George Frideric Händel – Imeneo

Recorded in 1986.

About this opera:
Imeneo (Hymen, HWV 41) is an opera seria in three acts by George Frideric Handel. The Italian-language libretto was adapted from Silvio Stampiglia’s Imeneo. Handel had begun composition in September 1738, but did not complete the score until 1740. The opera received its first performance at the Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London on 22 November 1740, and received another performance on 13 December. Handel then revised the score, and this revised version received concert performances in Dublin, on 24 and 31 March 1742. The first modern production was in Halle on 13 March 1960. The work was soon after performed in Birmingham in 1961, under the direction of Anthony Lewis. Lewis also led the first London revival of the opera since Handel’s time, in 1972 at the Royal Academy of Music. Lewis has prepared a performing edition of the opera.

The opera opens with Tirinto’s lamentation of his lost love, Rosmene, to barbaric pirates. Another girl has been abducted, Clomiri. Together he grieves with Clomiri’s father, Argenio. But they learn that a brave, strong man named Imeneo had killed every pirate while they were sleeping. Everyone rejoices, and Imeneo, along with the rest of the country and Rosmene’s parents, expects Rosmene to marry him, though her true feelings are for Tirinto. Thus Rosmene is caught in a painfully awkward love triangle. Additionally, Clomiri has amorous feelings for Imeneo. Clomiri helps Imeneo realize that Rosmene is hesitant because of her relationship with Tirinto, and that she is putting his contentment before hers. When Imeneo, who insists that Rosmene is ungrateful, and Tirinto, who calls her unfaithful, tell her to decide who she will marry, she feigns a nervous breakdown in front of the characters. Eventually, she marries Imeneo. She learns that true love is not as important as honor and duty. Rosmene asks Tirinto to be happy for her. Her decision leaves Clomiri and Tirinto to cry at the end. The chorus at the end of the opera restates that one must not bow down to one’s desire, but to reason; one must not follow true feelings and fidelity, but gratitude and honor.

The Artists:
Brewer Chamber Orchestra
Rudolph Palmer: conductor
John Ostendorf: Imeneo
Julianne Baird: Rosmene
D’Anna Fortunato: Tirinto
Beverly Hoch: Clomiri
Jan Opalach: Argeno

Track List:
1. Act I, Overture/Prelude (5:17)
2. Act I, Scene 1 (12:06)
3. Act I, Scene 2 (10:31)
4. Act I, Scenes 3-4 (9:05)
5. Act I, Scenes 5-6 (11:54)
6. Act II, Scene 1 (8:54)
1. Act II, Scenes 2-3 (9:13)
2. Act II, Scenes 4-5 (8:36)
3. Act II, Scene 6 (8:22)
4. Act III, Scenes 1-2 (7:51)
5. Act III, Scenes 3-6 (9:43)
6. Act III, Conclusion (11:07)

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 295.42 Mb, 82:39 minutes. Covers & info included.


George Frideric Händel – Arias for Cuzzoni, Durastani, Senesimo & Montagnana

George Frideric Händel – Arias for Cuzzoni, Durastani, Senesimo & Montagnana

Recorded between November 1986 and October 1991 in California.

About these works:
This bargain-priced box set is a must-have for anyone who loves Handel’s operas. Whilst Nicholas McGegan has had his critics over some of his Goettingen recordings, it cannot be denied that he has rescued some of Handel’s finest arias and operas from the dustbin of History. And here (87 arias later), he has a fine cast of singers all re-living the repertoire of some of the best singers of the 18th century – Lisa Saffer sings arias by Cuzzoni, Drew Minter arias by Senesino, David Thomas arias for Montagnana, and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson arias by Durastanti.
The excellent Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra provide superb accompaniment for each singer, and the sound quality is very good across all four discs. The whole comes with a very informative and exhaustive booklet containing introductory essays for each singer, as well as full libretti.
Highlights include Lisa Saffer’s ravishing account of Falsa Imagine (Ottone) which Cuzzoni allegedly refused to sing as it was too plain – until Handel threatened to throw her out of the window..! Lorraine Hunt’s re-enaction of Durastanti’s Sesto role from Giulio Cesare sees a committed ‘L’angue offenso mai riposa’. Drew Minter’s coppery and languid countertenor gives delight in little-known arias from Riccardo Primo (Agitato da fiere tempeste) and Tolomeo (Stille Amare). Whilst David Thomas’ cavernous bass voice ranges across opera and oratorio roles for Montagnana.
In all this is a superb collection that illustrates what a genius Handel was at characterisation and word-painting. No Handel lover will want to miss it.

The Artists:

Track List:

01. Spietati (Rodelinda) (4:17)
02. Ombre, piante, urne funeste! (Rodelinda) (4:46)
03. Il volo cosi fido (Riccardo Primo) (5:10)
04. Se pieta di me non senti (Giulio Cesare) (10:56)
05. Piangero la sorte mia (Giulio Cesare) (6:03)
06. Da tempeste il legno infranto (Giulio Cesare) (6:17)
07. Scoglio d’immota fronte (Scipione) (5:27)
08. False immagine (Ottone) (7:17)
09. Affani del pansier (Ottone) (7:34)
10. Se non mi vuol amar (Tamerlano) (7:14)
11. L’Amor che per te sento (Alessandro) (4:42)
12. Amante stravagante (Flavio) (4:24)
01. Ogni vento (Agrippina) (5:21)
02. Pensieri, voi mi tormentate (Agrippina) (4:47)
03. Ombra cara di mia sposa (Radamisto) (8:02)
04. Qual nave (Radamisto) (6:16)
05. Dimmi, crudele Amore (Muzio Scevola) (6:30)
06. Vieni, o figlio (Ottone) (7:55)
07. Svegliatevi nel core (Giulio Cesare) (5:12)
08. Cara speme (Giulio Cesare) (4:54)
09. L’angue offeso mai riposa (Giulio Cesare) (5:47)
10. L’aure che spira (Giulio Cesare) (5:17)
11. La giustizia (Giulio Cesare) (4:22)
12. Mirami altero in volto (Arianna) (3:54)
13. Qual leon (Arianna) (5:56)
01. Va tacito (Giulio Cesare) (6:17)
02. Non e vago e bello (Giulio Cesare) (3:02)
03. Vivi, tiranno (Rodelinda) (5:33)
04. Che piu si tarda omai (Tolomeo) (6:36)
05. Nube che il Sole (Riccardo Primo) (6:14)
06. Agitato da fiere tempeste (Orlando) (4:38)
07. Ah Stigie larve! (Orlando) (7:50)
08. Gia per la man (Orlando) (5:45)
09. T’ubbidiro, crudele (Orlando) (3:35)
10. E queste la Mercede (Orlando) (5:04)
11. Amor, nel mio penar (Flavio) (6:06)
01. Se un bell’ardire (Ezio) (3:29)
02. Nasce al bosco (Ezio) (5:39)
03. Già risonar (Ezio) (5:37)
04. Fra l’ombre e gli orrori (Sosarme) (5:07)
05. Sento il cor (Sosarme) (5:05)
06. Tiene Giove (Sosarme) (3:06)
07. Pluck root and branch (Esther) (2:26)
08. Turn not, O Queen (Esther) (2:35)
09. How art thou fall’n (Esther) (4:21)
10. Ferito son d’Amore (Acis & Galatea) (3:47)
11. Piangi pur (Tolomeo) (2:34)
12. Lascia Amor (Orlando) (4:10)
13. Sorge infausta una procella (Orlando) (6:42)
14. Awake the ardour (Deborah) (3:33)
15. Swift inundation (Deborah) (3:26)
16. Tears, such as tender fathers shed (Deborah) (2:39)
17. Ah, canst thou but prove me! (Athalia) (3:23)

Stereo, DDD, mp3, 320 kbps, 240:35 minutes, 756.19 Mb (music) + 97.22 Mb (scans). Full info included.

Part1 —  Part2Part3Part4Part5Part6Part7

Joseph Haydn – Orlando Paladino

Joseph Haydn – Orlando Paladino

Recorded at the Grande Salle, Epalinges, Switzerland in June 1976

About this opera:
The Philips series, conducted by Antal Dorati, was an eye-opener and by general consent Orlando Paladino was the masterpiece. It is an opera in three acts by Joseph Haydn which was first performed at Eszterháza on 6 December 1782. The libretto by Nunziano Porta is based on another libretto, Le pazzie d’Orlando, by Carlo Francesco Badini (set by the composer P.A. Guglielmi in 1771), itself inspired by Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando furioso. The opera was described as a dramma eroicomico and the plot mixes heroic and comic elements. It was Haydn’s most popular opera during his lifetime.
Haydn contributed an exceptionally inventive and varied score to a libretto that was not written specifically for him but for the Italian composer Pietro Alessandro Guglielmi. It is of course built on the “Chanson de Roland”, written around 1100. During the Renaissance Boiardo extended the story in his unfinished poem “Orlando inammorato” and Ariosto went one step further in his “Orlando furioso”. Both Lully and Handel wrote operas on the subject, in 1685 and 1733 and so came Guglielmi’s “Le pazzie di Orlando”, performed in London in 1771, where he explored the humorous side of the subject. The text Haydn set was further developed but is in the main the same story as Guglielmi’s. It was performed at Esterháza in 1782, 1783 and 1784 and after that was a resounding success in Central Europe, being played during the composer’s lifetime in Bratislava, Prague, Brünn (Brno), Vienna, Budapest, Mannheim, Frankfurt, Cologne, Graz, Nuremberg, Berlin, Hanover, Bremen, Leipzig, Munich, Augsburg, Königsberg, Hamburg, Breslau and Dresden. Eventually it disappeared from view, only to be revived in our time. There is no evidence that Mozart or Da Ponte knew the work but there are similarities between Orlando and Don Giovanni. Don Ottavio could be modelled on Medoro, Donna Anna could be a younger sister of Angelica and Leporello has learnt a thing or two from Pasquale, who boasts about his travels around Europe in a kind of catalogue aria, Ho viaggiato in Francia, in Spagna. This buffo character has another aria, demonstrating his musical capacity, imitating instruments in the Maestro di Cappella manner, known from works by both Cimarosa and Paër.

The Artists:

Track List:

01. Sinfonia (3:53)
02. 1. Akt – (Introduzione) Eurilla, Licone, Rodomonte – Il lavorar l’e pur la brutta cosa (3:27)
03. 1. Akt – (Recitativo) Rodomonte, Licone, Eurilla – Presto rispondi, indegno (1:53)
04. 1. Akt – (Aria) Eurilla – Ah se dire io vi potessi (3:28)
05. 1. Akt – (Recitativo) Rodomonte, Licone – Non perdiamo piu tempo (0:40)
06. 1. Akt – (Aria) Rodomonte – Temerario, senti e trema (3:05)
07. 1. Akt – (cavatina) Angelica – Palpita ad ogni istante (5:11)
08. 1. Akt – (Recitativo) Angelica – Angelica infelice (1:30)
09. 1. Akt – Sinfonia (0:28)
10. 1. Akt – (Recitativo) Alcina, Angelica – Che brami dalla fata¿ (1:49)
11. 1. Akt – (Aria) Alcina – Ad un guardo, a un cenno solo (3:48)
12. 1. Akt – (Recitativo) Angelica, Medoro – D’Alcina i detti (1:35)
13. 1. Akt – (Aria) Medoro – Parto. Mah, oh dio, non posso (6:30)
14. 1. Akt – (Cavatina) Pasquale – La mia bella m’ha detto di no (1:35)
15. 1. Akt – (Recitativo) Pasquale, Rodomonte, Eurilla – Pasquale disgraziato (1:50)
16. 1. Akt – (Aria) Pasquale – Ho viaggiato in Francia, in Spagna (3:04)
17. 1. Akt – (Recitativo) Medoro, Angelica – Si, regina, ho deciso (0:47)
18. 1. Akt – (Aria) Angelica – Non partir, mia bella face (5:10)
19. 1. Akt – (Recitativo) Medoro – In odio al mio bel nume (0:34)
20. 1. Akt – (Recitativo, accompagnato) Orlando – Angelica, mio ben (5:06)
21. 1. Akt – (Aria) Orlando – D’Angelica il nome (3:30)
22. 1. Akt – (Recitativo) Pasquale, Rodomonte, Orlando, Eurilla – D’evitare i rumor dicea Catone (1:44)
23. 1. Akt – (Finale I) Orlando, Eurilla, Pasquale – Presto rispondi, indegna (2:08)
24. 1. Akt – (Finale I) Angelica, Pasquale, Eurilla, Rodomonte – Sento nel seno, oh dio (4:15)
25. 1. Akt – (Finale I) Medoro, Angelica, Eurilla, Pasquale – Chi mi salva o tien nascoso (3:42)
26. 1. Akt – (Finale I) Alcina, Rodomonte, Angelica, Eurilla, Medoro, Pasquale – Van timore il cor ti muove (2:00)
27. 1. Akt – (Finale I) Angelica, Eurilla, Medoro, Pasquale, Alcina, Rodomonte – Ferma, ferma Belzebu! (3:35)
01. (Recitativo) Orlando, Rodomonte, Eurilla – Sempre, sempre presente (1:27)
02. (Aria) Rodomonte – Mille lampi d’accese faville (2:04)
03. (Recitativo) Medoro, Eurilla – In questo solitario orrido luogo (1:48)
04. (Aria) Medoro – Dille che un infelice (5:20)
05. (Cavatina) Pasquale – Vittoria, vittoria! (1:36)
06. (Recitativo) Eurilla, Pasquale – Vuo divertirmi adesso (1:28)
07. (Duetto) Eurilla, Pasquale – Quel tuo visetto amabile (3:24)
08. (Aria) Angelica – Aure chete (5:16)
09. (Recitativo) Alcino – D’Angelica le smanie (1:01)
10. (Recitatico accompagnato) Angelica, Medoro – Fra queste selve invan (5:11)
11. (Duetto) Medoro, Angelica – Qual contento io provo in seno (3:56)
12. (Recitativo)Medoro, Angelica, Orlando, Alcina – Ma no perdiamo, oh cara (3:45)
13. (Aria) Orlando – Cosa vedo, cosa sento (3:04)
14. (Recitativo) Pasquale, Eurilla – Con quest’abito addosso (1:45)
15. (Aria) Pasquale – Ecco spiano (4:26)
16. (Recitativo) Rodomonte, Alcina, Eurilla – Angelica, dov’e (1:18)
17. (Finale II) Orlando, Pasquale, Alcino – Nel solitario speco (5:50)
18. (Finale II) Angelica, Medoro, Eurilla, Rodomonte, Pasquale, Alcina – Per quest’orrido sentieri! (6:07)
19. (Finale II) Orlando, Rodomonte, Angelica, Alcina, Eurilla, Medoro, Pasquale – Dove son (4:10)
01. (Aria) Caronte – Ombre insepolte (2:43)
02. (Recitativo) Alcina, Caronte – Nella mente d’Orlando (1:17)
03. (Recitativo accompaganto) Orlando – Sogno¿ veglio¿ cos’e¿ (2:20)
04. (Aria) Orlando – Miei pensieri, dove siete (3:34)
05. (Recitativo accompagnato) Caronte, Orlando – L’irremeabil onda: (Recitativo) Angelica, Medoro, Orlando, Rodomonte, Pas (1:36)
06. Combattimento (1:03)
07. (Recitatico accompagnato) Angelica – Implacabili numi (4:13)
08. (Aria) Angelica – Dell’estreme sue voci dolenti (4:26)
09. (Recitativo) Alcina, Angelica, Rodomonte, Orlando, Medoro, Pasquale, Eurilla – Non tormentari piu (3:44)
10. (Coro) Tutti – Son confuso e stupefatto (2:43)

Stereo, ADD, mp3, 320 kbps, 147:58 minutes, 513.89 Mb. Covers, info & synopsis included.

Part1 —  Part2 —  Part3 —  Part4 —  Part5