Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|George Frideric Handel, Jean-Claude Malgoire, Ileana Cotrubas|
Handel - Rinaldo / Watkinson, Cotrubas, Esswood, Brett, Malgoire
Opera seria is far from boring
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Strangely enough, this was this first opera recording I ever heard, and I fell in love with it. I remember checking it out numerous times from the public library when I was ten (I liked the cover) and listened to it over and over. This recording started my love for opera, which has grown ever since. I was delighted when it was finally released on CD in 1997 -- I had been looking for my own copy of the recording for over ten years. It is a lively and energetic performance of Handel's first great operatic success, and even without the legendary stage effects (ie, real birds in the garden scene), the music produces enough magic on its own. International singers were brought from all arenas -- the opera house, recital hall, and concert platform -- and came together to provide twentieth-century listeners a chance to hear the music as it may have sounded in Handel's day. Ileana Cotrubas sings sweetly and purely as Almirena, while Jeanette Scovotti scales the coloratura passages and brutally high tessitura of Armida's role with ease. Carolyn Watkinson possesses a contralto of rock-solid firmness and deep expression and is well-cast in the title role. The rest of the cast is equally accomplished. If you enjoy Handel, opera, fine singing, or simply good music, do not hesitate to purchase this recording."
Listen to this with pleasure until Andeas Scholl records it
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful opera and the recording does it justice. The orchestra sounds very fine, particularly the oboes, piccolo "birds" and the pizzicato sections. At all times the crispness of the dotted rhythms keeps the work moving.Cotrubas and Scovotti are in good voice. "Lascia ch'io pianga" moved me to tears and Almira's equivocating magic worked very well. The other roles were also well sung.Having recently heard a fine performance by Opera Australia with Graham Pushee in the title role, I missed the agility of his voice, particularly in the second theme of "Cara sposa". It would be wonderful to hear Andreas Scholl in this work.In summary, I would recommend adding this to your collection now, especially if your budget extends to a second copy if Andreas obliges."
An important piece for your collection
Corrado Speranza | Perugia, Italy | 05/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rinaldo is certainly one of the most famous operas of the first half of 18th century. It contains arias like "Lascia ch'io pianga", "Cara sposa, amante cara", "Venti, turbini prestate" and also three remarkable duets, but you can enjoy all the other arias, too. From the beginning to the end Handel maintains a high musical level: he also takes care of the instrumental parts more than in other operas (there are also 4 trumpets, timpani and a piccolo in the score). However the greatness of Rinaldo stands on the variety of feelings and emotions (like in Mozart's operas): in the same character you can find heroism, love, happiness, sadness. This performance directed by Malgoire remarks this richness in a magnificent way. Moreover he gives a faithful interpretation: in the "da capo" the arias are singed with ornaments and variations, like in the performance of the 18th century. The orchestra plays with lucidity and accuracy. The cast is considerable: surely you know Carolyn Watkinson (here as Rinaldo), Ileana Cotrubas (Almirena) and Paul Esswood (Goffredo). A great interpretation of Armida is given by Jeanette Scovotti. It would be a perfect recording, but the bass Ulrik Cold isn't suitable with the role of Argante because he has a harsh voice and diminishes the beautiful aria "Sibilar gli angui d'Aletto" and the lively duet "Al trionfo del nostro furore" (with Armida)."