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William Christie, Les Arts Florissants - Mozart: Requiem (1995)

Posted By: ArlegZ
William Christie, Les Arts Florissants - Mozart: Requiem (1995)

William Christie, Les Arts Florissants - Mozart: Requiem (1995)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 239 Mb | Total time: 53:39 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Erato | # 0630-10697-2 | Recorded: 1994

For all the lovely recordings of the Mozart Requiem, KV 626 - and there are many fine ones that run the gamut of 'authoritative/authentic' performances to richly robust and romantic versions that ring the halls with operatic grandeur - this 1995 recording with William Christie conducting Les Arts Florissantes is one that is so richly rewarding to return to for its delicate yet soulful sincerity. The instruments are in keeping with the instruments of Mozart's time, and the choral technique is more straight toned than other more modern choruses. The soloists - Anna Maria Panzarella, soprano, Nathalie Stutzmann, alto, Christoph Pregardien, tenor, and Nathan Berg, bass - are all excellent, both as individuals and in quartet and combinations.

Juan Bautista Otero, Real Compania Opera de Camara - Antonio Mazzoni: Aminta, il Rè pastore (2007)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Juan Bautista Otero, Real Compania Opera de Camara - Antonio Mazzoni: Aminta, il Rè pastore (2007)

Juan Bautista Otero, Real Compañía Ópera de Cámara - Antonio Mazzoni: Aminta, il Rè pastore (2007)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 711 Mb | Total time: 135:41 | Scans included
Classical | Label: K617 | # K617201 | Recorded: 2006

Here is yet another operatic masterpiece reborn thanks to Juan Bautista Otero and his splendid Réal Compania Opera de Camara. 'Aminta, il re pastore' is an extraordinary work which the famed castrato Farinelli commissioned from the Bolognese composer Mazzoni after the huge success of his two operas produced in Lisbon, 'La clemenza di Tito' and 'Antigono'. Faithfully following Metastasio's original libretto, Mazzoni composed here a sublime opera seria in 3 acts, shorter than usual, with a blend of pathos, delicacy of expression and virtuosity that gives a marvelously complete picture of what one might call 'the Farinelli sound'.

Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques - Tommaso Traetta: Antigona (2000)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques - Tommaso Traetta: Antigona (2000)

Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques - Tommaso Traetta: Antigona (2000)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 618 Mb | Total time: 79:16+80:41 | Scans included
Classical | Label: DECCA | # 460 204-2 | Recorded: 2000

In November 1772, as the 16-year-old Mozart was preparing to astonish the Milanese with his third operatic work for the Teatro Regio Ducal, his older contemporary, Tommaso Traetta (1727–79) from the Puglia region of Italy, was presenting the premiere of his second opera for the court of Catherine the Great in St Petersburg. Today, the former’s Lucio Silla is probably better known than the latter’s Antigona. But which is the finer work? On the basis of this outstanding new recorded version, I would say that Traetta’s tragedia per musica in three acts far outclasses Mozart’s opera seria for its consistent musical inspiration and sheer theatrical know-how.

Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques - Henry Desmarest: Vénus & Adonis (2007)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques - Henry Desmarest: Vénus & Adonis (2007)

Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques - Henry Desmarest: Vénus & Adonis (2007)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 769 Mb | Total time: 132:26 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Ambroisie | AM 127 | Recorded: 2006

Another French baroque opera composer, Henry Desmarest, resurfaces after centuries of obscurity. Vénus & Adonis, first seen in 1697 in Paris, was composed in the midst of a scandal, when Desmarest eloped with a young singer who was the daughter of a powerful official. In his absence, he was sentenced to death and thus effectively exiled until his pardon in 1720. The opera’s theme of illicit love seems to have fired Desmarest’s imagination, and the stylish cast, headed by Karine Deshayes and Sébastien Droy, responds in kind. One senses, too, rare involvement in the playing of Les Talens Lyriques. More Desmarest operas await.

Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques - Lully: Roland (2004)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques - Lully: Roland (2004)

Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques - Lully: Roland (2004)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 917 Mb | Total time: 47:45+60:25+52:13 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Ambroisie | AMB 9949 | Recorded: 2004

Lully's 1685 Roland, on a subject apparently chosen by Louis XIV–its message is that loyalty to one's country and fighting battles is more important and noble than earthly love–was a great hit and played on-and-off in France and other European countries until 1750. The plot involves Angelique's vacillating love for Médor. She vacillates due to the fact that Médor is of "obscure lineage" and therefore beneath her station. He has undying, wild love for her. Roland adores Angelique also, but while she admires his knightliness, she is otherwise not interested. After Médor threatens suicide, Angelique gives in; they marry to great festivity at the close of Act 3.

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Deidamia (2003)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Deidamia (2003)

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Deidamia (2003)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 897 Mb | Total time: 69:45+62:45+48:25 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Virgin Veritas | 5 45669 2 | Recorded: 2002

Written in 1740, Deidamia was the last of Handel’s Italian operas; thereafter he relinquished the form and turned his creative energies to English oratorio. The libretto is based on the myth of Achilles’ boyhood: disguised as a girl on the island of Scyros to escape his fate at Troy, Achilles is unmasked by Ulysses and joins the war, abandoning his lover Deidamia. Despite its heroic subject Deidamia is written with a light, almost comic touch, Deidamia herself providing a central seriousness as she moves from the ecstasies of young love to a tragic maturity, forced to release the boy she loves to his inevitable death. Simone Kermes is Deidamia and Anna Bonitatibus her cynical adversary Ulysses; Alan Curtis’ new recording reveals the many beauties of a very human and appealing work that marks a wistful end to the golden age of Baroque opera.

Juan Bautista Otero, La Real Compañía Ópera de Cámara - Domènec Terradellas: Artaserse (2009)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Juan Bautista Otero, La Real Compañía Ópera de Cámara - Domènec Terradellas: Artaserse (2009)

Juan Bautista Otero, La Real Compañía Ópera de Cámara - Domènec Terradellas: Artaserse (2009)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 979 Mb | Total time: 76:47+54:51+42:57 | Scans included
Classical | Label: RCOC Records | # 0800.3 | Recorded: 2008

The RCOC is an independent operatic ensemble performing on period instruments, created by the conductor and musicologist Juan Bautista Otero and the stage producer Isidro Olmo. It focuses its activity on the rediscovery of the musical heritage related to Spain and the old Bolurbon kingdoms in Italy during the 18th century, specially concerning the music for the stage of the Neapolitan operatic masters as David Pérez, Domingo Terradellas, Domenico Scarlatti, Mariana Martínez or Martín y Soler as commissioned by the great castrato Farinelli. This is clearly a project close to Juan Bautista Otero's heart, and one that he has been associated with since 1998.

Ivor Bolton, Concerto Koln - Francesco Cavalli: Ercole Amante (2010)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Ivor Bolton, Concerto Koln - Francesco Cavalli: Ercole Amante (2010)

Ivor Bolton, Concerto Köln - Francesco Cavalli: Ercole Amante (2010)
NTSC 16:9 (720x480) | Italiano (LinearPCM, 2 ch) | (DTS, 5 ch) | 198 min | 6,38 + 7,77 Gb (2xDVD9)
Classical | Label: Opus Arte | Sub: English, Francais, Deutsch, Espanol, Italiano, Nederlands | Recorded: 2009

This hilarious contemporary version of Francesco Cavalli's baroque opera Hercules in Love was commissioned on occasion of the marriage of Louis XIV, the Sun King, to Maria Theresa of Spain. The original production took two years to complete and was at the time the greatest show ever performed in Europe. Directed by David Alden, this surreal production is a triumph of commedia buffa resplendent with decorative and symbolic elements, and complemented by Constance Hoffman's exceptional costumes. Led by Ivor Bolton, a master of baroque music, the chorus of De Nederlandse Opera and Concerto Köln give a sublime performance. With Luca Pisaroni's (Ercole) singing being heroic and melodious in turn, and Veronica Cangemi as a splendid Iole, this is an outstanding production by the DNO.

Emmanuelle Haim, Le Concert d'Astree - Handel: Arcadian Duets (2002)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Emmanuelle Haim, Le Concert d'Astree - Handel: Arcadian Duets (2002)

Emmanuelle Haïm, Le Concert d'Astrée - Handel: Arcadian Duets (2002)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 259 Mb | Total time: 62:18 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Virgin | # 5 45524 2 | Recorded: 2001-2002

It's tempting to think these duets, which Handel composed at various points in his career, are just chips from the master's block. But they constitute a delightful hour's worth of music, and when sung with the vocal brilliance and stylishness displayed here by ten top singers in various pairings, they add up to one of those rare discs it's hard to stop returning to. Handel must have thought a lot of them too–since he reused some of this music for oratorios like Messiah–and turned to the chamber duet form in his last years as well. There isn't a weak link among the soloists, though the contributions of Natalie Dessay, Veronique Gens, and Sara Mingardo are especially noteworthy. Whether asked to sing plaintive laments or flashy coloratura displays, these well-matched voices thrill. The accompaniments (harpsichord or organ, lute and cello) are faultless. The appeal of this disc extends far beyond Baroque specialists to anyone who enjoys outstanding singing.
–Dan Davis