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Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Tolomeo (2008)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Tolomeo (2008)

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Tolomeo (2008)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 767 Mb | Total time: 56:11+45:25+46:47 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Archiv Produktion | 477 7106 | Recorded: 2006

For the 1727 season – the waning days of opera's popularity in London – transplanted German composer George Frederick Handel wrote no less than three operas for the English capital's stage. Tolomeo, rè d'Egitto was the last and least enthusiastically received of them. Unsuccessfully revived in 1730 and then again in 1733, Tolomeo was unperformed for the next 200 years, and even now, it remains one of Handel's least performed and recorded operas. Prior to this Archiv set, only a 1995 Vox recording of the work with Richard Auldon Clark leading the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra had been released in the digital era.

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Floridante (2007)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Floridante (2007)

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Floridante (2007)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 857 Mb | Total time: 58.28+50.21+54.53 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Archiv Produktion | 477 6566 | Recorded: 2006

Handel wrote Floridante in 1722 for a London audience infatuated with Italian opera. The plot, like that of so many Baroque operas, was taken from ancient history and concerns romantic liaisons thrown into turmoil by political rivalries, in this case between Persia and Tyre. Handel wrote over 50 Italian operas, and it's remarkable that he was consistently able to summon such a high level of inventiveness and inspiration when faced repeatedly with librettos that must have come to look depressingly alike in the conventions of their labyrinthine plots.

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Rodelinda (2005)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Rodelinda (2005)

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Rodelinda (2005)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 0,98 Gb | Total time: 66:10+59:01+67:15 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Archiv Produktion | 477 5391 | Recorded: 2004

Alan Curtis has done more than most to prove that many of Handel's 42 operas are first-rate music dramas – his Admeto, from 1977, was one of the first complete recordings of a Handel opera to feature period instruments and all voices at correct pitch without transpositions – but it is surprising to note that this is his first recording of an undisputed popular masterpiece. Rodelinda, first performed in February 1725, is a stunning work dominated by a title-heroine who remains devoted to her supposedly dead husband Bertarido and scorns the advances of his usurper Grimoaldo.

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Radamisto (2005)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Radamisto (2005)

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Radamisto (2005)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 829 Mb | Total time: 61:01+65:25+50:36 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Virgin Classics | 5 45673 2 | Recorded: 2003

Joyce Di Donato and Maite Beaumont are outstanding as the devoted couple tormented by Tiridate’s abuse of power. Their flexible and agile voices are ideally displayed in the opening scenes of Act 2 – Beaumont’s sublime ‘Quando mai’ followed by Di Donato’s powerful ‘Ombra cara’. Patrizia Ciofi is suited to the moods of the Tiridate’s long-suffering wife. Dominique Labelle is the most rounded and ideally equipped Handel soprano in the cast: the music effortlessly trips off her tongue in ‘Mirerò quel vago volto’…

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Admeto (1998)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Admeto (1998)

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Admeto (1998)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 0,99 Gb | Total time: 76:48+79:16+60:43 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Virgin Veritas | 5 61369 2 | Recorded: 1977

A warm welcome back for this 1977 recording of Handel’s most successful opera, which ran, in 1727, for an unprecedented 19 performances. Curtis and his team were visionary 20 years ago. Recitative is lively, declaimed rather than fully sung; vocal decorations sound spontaneous, period instruments are played with zest and polish – barely a sour note from the handful of strings; colours include a trio of oboes and bassoon and, accompanying Bowman in fine voice, a pair of horns for what Dr Burney described as ‘one of the best and most agreeable hunting songs that was ever composed’.

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Rodrigo (1999)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Rodrigo (1999)

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Rodrigo (1999)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 787 Mb | Total time: 79:15+75:34 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Virgin Veritas ‎| 5 45897 2 | Recorded: 1997

Until recently, so much of this first opera that Handel wrote for Italy was lost that it was unviable to stage it. The rediscovery of the missing material, a triumph of scholarly detective work, reveals the confident high spirits which characterise so much of Handel’s music during his Italian visit. It lacks the instrumental colours of his more lavish London productions, with many arias supported by continuo alone. All are here, complete (even six which Handel himself discarded), but many are brief and, under Curtis’s lively direction, the dramatic tension builds up splendidly.

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Arminio (2001)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Arminio (2001)

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Arminio (2001)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 717 Mb | Total time: 75:23+71:03 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Virgin Veritas ‎| 5 45461 2 | Recorded: 2000

One of Handel’s rarer operas, Arminio, set at the time of the Roman Empire, was first performed in 1737. “On the evidence of this very fine recording,” said Gramophone when this performance first appeared, “it can stand among the best of the Handel operas, full of beautiful and imaginative things.” Conducting a cast led by the virtuosic Vivica Genaux in the title role – composed for the castrato Domenico Annibali – is the renowned Handel specialist Alan Curtis.

Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin - George Frideric Handel: Water Music (2016) [Re-Up]

Posted By: Designol
Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin - George Frideric Handel: Water Music (2016) [Re-Up]

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin - George Frideric Handel: Water Music (2016)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 248 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 118 Mb | Scans included
Classical, Baroque | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMC902216 | Time: 00:48:34

You might think that Handel's Water Music, HWV 348-350, arguably the most familiar piece of Baroque music (the Four Seasons of Vivaldi can give it a run for its money, but its popularity is more recent), has received every possible interpretation. And you would be wrong, as the musicians of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin have shown in this Harmonia Mundi release, precisely recorded in Berlin's Teldex studio. You get a steady parade of innovations here, marked overall by, but not in the least restricted to, blisteringly fast tempos that turn the horn-dominated movements into tests of virtuosity. Unexpected dynamic contrasts and the unusual rhythmic treatment of the "Overture" to the Suite No. 1 (sample track one) are other novelties, but this veteran group is not out for shock value. The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin operate without a conductor, and their coordination in these crisp prestos is worth the price of admission in itself. Their ability to act as one in really unusual shapings of each individual movement is remarkable, and the treacherous horn parts are near perfection in the hands of Erwin Wieringa and Miroslav Rovenský.

Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti - Handel: Faramondo (2009)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti - Handel: Faramondo (2009)

Diego Fasolis, I Barocchisti - Handel: Faramondo (2009)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 894 Mb | Total time: 65:59+48:52+51:17 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Virgin Classics | # 2 16611 2 9 | Recorded: 2008

Until it was revived in the late twentieth century, Handel's opera Faramondo was performed just eight times in London in 1738 and then fell into obscurity. According to the conventions of Italian opera of the period, men's roles were often written for women, in spite of the lack of dramatic realism, and the use of castrati was common, so higher voices strongly predominate. Handel wrote the title role, which would have gone to a castrato, usually a male alto, for Cafarelli, who had the range of a mezzo-soprano.

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Fernando (2007)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Fernando (2007)

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Handel: Fernando (2007)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 711 Mb | Total time: 71:53+77:26 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Virgin Veritas | 3 65483 2 | Recorded: 2006

Fernando is the abandoned first draft of Handel’s opera Sosarme (performed at the King’s Theatre in February 1732)… Curtis’s pacing and shaping of Handel’s music is consistently subtle, astutely rhetorical and firmly connected to the libretto text. Although it might be possible to explore firmer muscularity and create a more vivid sense of surprise in the quicker music, there is something to be said for Curtis’s shrewd reservation of such effects for when it is truly vital for the drama. For instance, Marianna Pizzolato’s powerful arias “Vado al campo” and “Cuor di madre e cuor di moglie” are potently delivered moments of severe agitated passion that are all the more effective for the sweeter elegance that pervades much of this lovely score.

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.

Russell Oberlin, Thomas Dunn, Baroque Chamber Orchestra - Handel Arias (2007)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Russell Oberlin, Thomas Dunn, Baroque Chamber Orchestra - Handel Arias (2007)

Russell Oberlin, Thomas Dunn, Baroque Chamber Orchestra - Handel Arias (2007)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 270 Mb | Total time: 47:43 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon ‎| # 477 6541 | Recorded: 1959

Oberlin is a native of Akron, OH, who, despite his birthdate (1928), is a contemporary to falsetto countertenor Alfred Deller – Oberlin also began his recording career right around 1950. Unlike Deller, countertenor is Oberlin's true range, and unlike Deller, he did not stick around to make recordings when his voice was past its prime; in the mid-'60s Oberlin quit singing and went into education. While Oberlin is not quite forgotten, relatively few plaudits and reissues have come his way.

Convivium - Handel: Trio Sonatas for oboe and violin (2000)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Convivium - Handel: Trio Sonatas for oboe and violin (2000)

Convivium - Handel: Trio Sonatas for oboe and violin (2000)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 360 Mb | Total time: 64:18 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDA67083 | Recorded: 1998

Whether or not by the teenage Handel, these trios are eminently worth exploring. Oboe sometimes dominates violin, but Convivium are full of with and verve in allegros, with slow affective movements - the opening of No. 8 is magical.

Christopher Hogwood, Handel and Haydn Society - Handel arr. Mozart: Acis und Galatea (1992)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Christopher Hogwood, Handel and Haydn Society - Handel arr. Mozart: Acis und Galatea (1992)

Christopher Hogwood, Handel and Haydn Society - Handel arr. Mozart: Acis und Galatea (1992)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 415 Mb | Total time: 95:50 | Scans included
Classical | Label: L'Oiseau-Lyre ‎| # 430 538-2 | Recorded: 1990

This recording of Handel's Acis and Galatea (or Acis und Galatea) features the German translation and arrangement completed by Mozart in Vienna circa 1788, per the instructions of the Baron Gottfried von Swieten to "modernize" Handel's pieces - including Alexander's Feast, Messiah, Ode for St. Cecilia's Day, and Acis and Galatea. Mozart kept much of Handel's original string arrangements, but proceeded to layer harmonies with a degree of sophistication that Handel could only have dreamed of.

Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques - Handel: Riccardo Primo (1996)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques - Handel: Riccardo Primo (1996)

Christophe Rousset, Les Talens Lyriques - Handel: Riccardo Primo (1996)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 998 Mb | Total time: 73:48+56:05+67:16 | Scans included
Classical | Label: L'Oiseau-Lyre ‎| # 452 201-2 | Recorded: 1995

Rescue operas are not what one is used to associating with Handel, yet that, in a sense, is what this is. Costanza, a princess of Navarre, has been shipwrecked on Cyprus, where she now awaits the arrival of her betrothed, Richard the Lionheart (yes, the same). The island's tyrannical ruler, Isacio, fancies her for himself, however, and spends the entire opera trying to prevent the intended union from going ahead, first by sending Riccardo his daughter Pulcheria instead, and, when that has failed thanks to Pulcheria's brave entreaties, by imprisoning Costanza and declaring war. Only with his final defeat by Riccardo's army, aided by Pulcheria's own fiancé Oronte, do things finally turn out happily.