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William Christie, Les Arts Florissants, Marijana Mijanovic, Kresimir Spicer - Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (2002)

Posted By: Vilboa
William Christie, Les Arts Florissants, Marijana Mijanovic, Kresimir Spicer - Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (2002)

William Christie, Les Arts Florissants, Marijana Mijanović, Krešimir Špicer - Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (2002)
NTSC 16:9 (720x480) | Italiano (LinearPCM, 2 ch) | (Dolby AC3, 6 ch) | 7.61 Gb (DVD9) | 174 min
Classical | Virgin Classics | Sub: English, Francais, Espanol, Italiano

Ulisse was one of the first operas to be written for the public stage, not for royalty. Monteverdi was in his seventies when he wrote it, yet it is a work of intense and youthful passion, as well as wisdom. At nearly three hours (in this version, anyway), it demands a lot from its audience, and seeing it at home via DVD is a great way to make its acquaintance.
This production dates from 2000; this particular live performance was recorded in the fairly intimate Théâtre de Jeu de Palme in 2002. The production is simple but eloquent.

George Frideric Handel - The Masterworks [30CDs] (2009)

Posted By: ArlegZ
George Frideric Handel - The Masterworks [30CDs] (2009)

George Frideric Handel - The Masterworks (30CDs) [2009]
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 8.52 Gb | Total time: 31:26:48 | Scans included
Classical | Label: DECCA | # 478 1190 | Recorded: 1959-2002

Celebrate the 250th anniversary of Handel's death with this impressive box set. 30-CD box set of the composer's most celebrated works–including the Royal Fireworks and Water Music, The Messiah, concerti grossi and much more! Featuring conductors Sir Neville Marriner, Christopher Hogwood, Trevor Pinnock, Mark Minkowski and others. Performances by the Gabrielli Players, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, English Baroque Soloists and others.

Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante - Vivaldi: Bajazet (2005)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante - Vivaldi: Bajazet (2005)

Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante - Vivaldi: Bajazet (2005)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 1.43 Gb | Total time: 73:37+72:49+29:00 (dvd) | Scans included
Classical | Label: Virgin Classics | 724354567629 | Recorded: 2004

Composed for the Carnival season in Verona in 1735, Bajazet is a ‘pasticcio’ opera based on the familiar story of the eponymous Turkish sultan’s imprisonment at the hands of the Tartar tyrant Tamerlane. As such, it openly uses arias by other composers, including Hasse, Broschi and Giacomelli, as well as re-cycled pieces from Vivaldi’s own operas (L’Olimpiade, Giustino, Farnace, Semiramide and Montezuma among them). But this is no mere patchwork of recycled numbers. All the ‘borrowed’ arias are expertly placed within the dramatic fabric of the work and are held together with richly composed recitatives. What we end up with is the best of the best in terms of Neapolitan-style opera – tuneful, virtuosic and passionate. Virtually every number in this recording is a highlight. What really lifts the recording is the quality of the performances. There are no holes or flaws among the experienced cast.

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 - Antonio Vivaldi: Motezuma (2006)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Antonio Vivaldi: Motezuma (2006)

Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco - Antonio Vivaldi: Motezuma (2006)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 966 Mb | Total time: 77:00+63:41+54:07 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Archiv Produktion | # 0289 477 5996 6 | Recorded: 2005

Conductor Jean-Claude Malgoire must be kicking himself pretty hard right now. Several years ago, impatient that no trace of Antonio Vivaldi's only opera set in the New World, Motezuma, seemed to be turning up, Malgoire cobbled his own version of the work by pulling together a variety of music from other bits and scraps of Vivaldi and fitting it to the extant libretto. Lo and behold, with the rediscovery of the Berliner Singakademie collection in Russia early in this century, the manuscript of Motezuma is now a known quantity, and it turns out that Malgoire's concoction bears no resemblance whatsoever to it. Nonetheless, even he has to be grateful that this extraordinary score has been located, and now, recorded by Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco on the Archiv Produktion release Vivaldi: Motezuma.

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

Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre - Handel: Giulio Cesare (2003)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre - Handel: Giulio Cesare (2003)

Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre - Handel: Giulio Cesare (2003)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 996 Mb | Total time: 75:52+80:30+63:03 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Archiv Production | # 474 210-2 | Recorded: 2002

"Though “Giulio Cesare” is the best known of Handel’s masterly operas, familiarity has not made it any easier to perform. Handel seized on the story of Caesar’s visit to Egypt in 48-47 B.C. as a chance to explore two often entwined human fascinations: politics and sex. If there are too many twists and improbabilities in the plot, the central characterizations are unvarnished and complex. The conductor Marc Minkowski’s vibrant recording with Les Musiciens du Louvre, a remarkable period-instrument ensemble from Paris, which captures a live performance in Vienna in 2002, may be the best overall."
- Anthony Tommasini