Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|George Frideric Handel, Nicolas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque|
Handel Arias for Cuzzoni, Durastanti, Senesino & Montagnana
Genres: Soundtracks, Classical
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A must-have for Handelians
Mr Richard Fitzsimmons | Scotland | 08/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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.
Do not miss it!
Smith | Hungary | 12/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As some really interesting McGegan recordings silently disappear, buy it NOW, without hesitation.
The concept is lavish. We see how Handel's pen was controlled by the artists' personality. David Thomas, e.g., flies down to the abyss opened by Handel's music to the possibly plutonian Montagnana -nobody, never could sing it better, "fly deeper". The ladies are lecherously "aviatic" to the opposite direction. Those who miss it miss a universe."