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Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante - Antonio Vivaldi: Ercole sul Termodonte (2010)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante - Antonio Vivaldi: Ercole sul Termodonte (2010)

Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante - Antonio Vivaldi: Ercole sul Termodonte (2010)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 783 Mb | Total time: 65:05+78:56 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Virgin Classics | # 5099969454509 | Recorded: 2008

There is no complete surviving score for Vivaldi's Ercole su'l Termodonte, but there is enough existing material that modern scholars have been able to reconstruct it primarily by making new settings of the lost recitatives. The first production of the opera since Vivaldi's time was at Spoleto in 2006 in a version by Alessandro Ciccolini, which was released as a DVD. Conductor Fabio Biondi made a version introduced in Venice in 2007, which is recorded on this 2010 Virgin CD. Biondi's recording has the advantage of two international superstars in the leading roles, tenor Rolando Villazón and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and soprano Diana Damrau is nearly in their league. Villazón's earthy voice is usually associated with 19th century and verismo Italian repertoire, but he has an acute sensitivity to Baroque vocal style, and his robust, almost baritonal tenor is entirely appropriate for a larger-than-life character like Hercules.

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.

Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Concentus Musicus Wien - Haydn: Il Mondo della Luna (2010)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Concentus Musicus Wien - Haydn: Il Mondo della Luna (2010)

Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Concentus Musicus Wien - Haydn: Il Mondo della Luna (2010)
NTSC 16:9 (720x480) | Italiano (LinearPCM, 2 ch) | (DTS, 5 ch) | 192 min | 6,72+5,92 Gb (2xDVD9)
Classical | Label: C Major | Sub: Italiano, English, Deutsch, Francais, Espanol | Recorded: 2009

An ideal constellation: 2009 marked Haydn's anniversary year as well as Nikolaus Harnoncourt's 80th birthday. For this occasion the maestro chose 'Il Mondo della Luna', a delicious mixture of satire, comedy and science fiction based on a popular comedy by Carlo Goldoni. Haydn's music unleashes a display of fireworks performed with irresistible energy by Harnoncourt and his ensemble. Renowned actor and director Tobias Moretti relates the story as a magical fairy tale infused with slapstick and fantasy costumes.

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.

George Petrou, Armonia Atenea, Vivica Genaux, Sonia Prina, Mary-Ellen Nesi, Romina Basso - Baroque Divas (2015)

Posted By: ArlegZ
George Petrou, Armonia Atenea, Vivica Genaux, Sonia Prina, Mary-Ellen Nesi, Romina Basso - Baroque Divas (2015)

George Petrou, Armonia Atenea, Vivica Genaux, Sonia Prina, Mary-Ellen Nesi, Romina Basso - Baroque Divas (2015)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 375 Mb | Total time: 75:56 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Decca | 478 8099 | Recorded: 2014

The history of opera is inseparably linked with the biographies of singers; audiences have always been fascinated by both musical prowess and behind the scenes goings-on. The battle for prestige and fame was heated and passionate in the Baroque era, with legendary rivalries. Fiercely competitive, Cuzzoni and Bordoni were among the most acclaimed divas of the age, resorting to fisticuffs on stage. Present-day prima donnas Genaux, Prina, Nesi and Basso now follow in the footsteps of their fervid predecessors, presenting on disc a tongue-in-cheek survey of standout arias for mezzo soprano and contralto.

Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante - Vivaldi: L'oracolo in Messenia (2012)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante - Vivaldi: L'oracolo in Messenia (2012)

Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante - Vivaldi: L'oracolo in Messenia (2012)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 814 Mb | Total time: 79.49+76.52 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Virgin Classics | # 50999960 254726 | Recorded: 2012

This is the world-premiere recording of L’Oracolo in Messenia, an opera prepared by Vivaldi for Vienna and now reconstructed by Fabio Biondi. He leads this triumphant performance, which opened the 2011 Resonanzen festival in the Austrian capital with a high-powered cast including Ann Hallenberg, Vivica Genaux and rising soprano Julia Lezhneva.

Vivica Genaux, René Jacobs, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin - Arias for Farinelli (2002)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Vivica Genaux, René Jacobs, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin - Arias for Farinelli (2002)

Vivica Genaux, René Jacobs, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin - Arias for Farinelli (2002)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 378 Mb | Total time: 77:35 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | HMC 901778 | Recorded: 2002

Recording an album of arias written expressly for Farinelli, one of the most legendary castratos of the eighteenth century, is brave; his name invokes a world of superhuman vocal feats, remarkable pathos, and a uniquely strong and brilliant tone that, for obvious anatomical reasons, will not be replicated by modern singers. But that clearly does not scare Vivica Genaux who, along with René Jacobs and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, dives into Farinelli's repertory as if it were her very own. She reveals a voice capable of dizzying speed and agility, and a refreshing ability to find in the highly ornamented, expression-through-excess style that typified opera seria of the time a sincerity and musical integrity that makes a case for its wider exploration.

Vivica Genaux: Arias - Rossini, Donizetti, Handel, Hasse, Vivaldi [3CDs] (2015)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Vivica Genaux: Arias - Rossini, Donizetti, Handel, Hasse, Vivaldi [3CDs] (2015)

Vivica Genaux: Arias - Rossini, Donizetti, Handel, Hasse, Vivaldi (2015)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 970 Mb | Total time: 68:21+72:01+75:41 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Erato | # 2564609830 | Recorded: 2003, 2006, 2009

This 3CD box unites three recitals that showcase the virtuosity, elegance and expressivity of mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux. Together, the programmes, recorded between 2003 and 2009, offer a survey of the repertoire that has figured most strongly in Genaux’s career – music from the 18th and early 19th centuries by Vivaldi, Handel, Hasse, Rossini and Donizetti. The spectacular recital of arias by Vivaldi, ‘Pyrotechnics’ was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2010.

Harmonia Mundi - Opéra Baroque - England: Blow, Purcell, Handel [7cd] (2013)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Harmonia Mundi - Opéra Baroque - England: Blow, Purcell, Handel [7cd] (2013)

Harmonia Mundi - Opéra Baroque - England: Blow, Purcell, Handel [7cd] (2013)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 1,85 Gb | Total time: 675:10 | Digital booklet (PDF)
Classical | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMX2908658.99 | Recorded: 1989, 1998, 2002

This luxurious set containing 39 CDs, 3 DVDs, 1 CD-Rom and four detailed booklets will tell you the full story of Baroque opera in Italy, France, England, and Germany. No fewer than 17 complete operas (including two on DVD) and two supplementary CDs (the dawn of opera, Overtures for the Hamburg Opera) provide the most comprehensive overview of the genre ever attempted! The finest performers are assembled here under the direction of René Jacobs and William Christie to offer you 47 hours of music. An opportunity to discover or to hear again the masterpieces of Baroque opera, some of which have been unavailable on CD for many years.

Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante - Alessandro Scarlatti: La Santissima Trinita (2004)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante - Alessandro Scarlatti: La Santissima Trinita (2004)

Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante - Alessandro Scarlatti: La Santissima Trinità (2004)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 382 Mb | Total time: 67:27 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Virgin Veritas | # 5 45666 2 | Recorded: 2003

With this exciting release, Fabio Biondi, the outstanding Europa Galante, and a cast led by stars Véronique Gens and Vivica Genaux strike a decisive blow for Alessandro Scarlatti's obscure Oratorio per la Santissima Trinità. Old-fashioned even in its day, the work is a musicalized instructional debate about the mysteries of the Holy Trinity between the allegorical personae of Faith, Theology, Faithlessness, Time, and Divine Love. If you're asleep already, it's for good reason. The libretto is the definition of dry – boring both for its rhetorical contrivance and its verbosity. But before you run for the nearest exit, know that Scarlatti responded to this uninspired mess of ideological bickering with outstanding music, entertaining from beginning to end. Drawing only on a small ensemble of strings and continuo, he created an improbably diverse-sounding score full of infectious rhythms, appealing vocal melodies, and rich textures. The recitatives are lavished with the same melodic care and detail as the arias and ensembles, and the personality of each character is etched into his music. Listening, one might think the plot revolves around a love affair, or a social intrigue. Certainly not wave upon wave of phrases like "One cannot believe it, but only raise one's eyebrows in stupefaction." In other words, if you can ignore the text it's an immensely fun listen, and a great example of the stylistic fluidity of Scarlatti's music in 1715.