Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
As good as it gets.
W. Shaffer | 05/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Haroncourt isn't everyone's favorite but I far prefer him over the more "musicologically correct" performances that have appeared in recent years. (My favorite "Poppea" is the Glyndebourne with an orchestra and with Nero sung by a tenor.) About two years ago I attended a performance of "Poppea" at the University of Michigan with the accompaniment provided by a septet and harpsichord (for recitatives.) Nero, unfortunately, was a countertenor. Those prefering this type of "period" or "historically informed" performance can have it. These works described passionate, even "blood and guts", stories that need realistic voices and a true orchestral sound. The more I hear of screeching countertenors the more the unnatural sound of this voice becomes apparent. It becomes continually more tiresome to hear conductors and performers try to outdo each other to reproduce the "way it really sounded." Raymond Leppard, in his book on the subject of authentic performance, deals with the futility of trying to do so. If the period performance crowd really was serious then there would be no female performers of any kind in any work written prior to about the 1760's or 70's. I recall reading one Amazon review in which the writer summarily dismissed a recording of a work by Bach because it didn't use baroque instruments. I honestly believe composers of the past would glady have welcomed improvements in the musical instruments of their time."