Search - Claudio Monteverdi, Gabriel Garrido, Ensemble Elyma :: Monteverdi - Il ritorno d'Ulisse In Patria / Garrido

Monteverdi - Il ritorno d'Ulisse In Patria / Garrido
Claudio Monteverdi, Gabriel Garrido, Ensemble Elyma
Monteverdi - Il ritorno d'Ulisse In Patria / Garrido
Genres: Alternative Rock, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #3

Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse ("The Return of Ulysses") is more difficult to bring off on record than the more famous L'Orfeo. Whereas Orfeo has a virtuoso centerpiece aria, memorable choruses, and a large, colorful or...  more »

      
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Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse ("The Return of Ulysses") is more difficult to bring off on record than the more famous L'Orfeo. Whereas Orfeo has a virtuoso centerpiece aria, memorable choruses, and a large, colorful orchestra, Ulisse survives with only the characters' vocal parts notated over basso continuo (a bass line over which chordal instruments improvise an accompaniment)--the choruses and the instrumental interludes indicated in the libretto are missing. Most conductors reviving Ulisse today orchestrate the score--René Jacobs, for example, not only imported sinfonias from other works, but composed extensive parts for violins, cornetts, etc. to accompany the singers. Gabriel Garrido has added instrumental pieces and adapted madrigals for the choruses to accommodate the full libretto, but he leaves accompanying the soloists to his 10 splendid continuo players. Those soloists are outstanding, with pleasing voices, excellent diction, and solid Monteverdian style. Most crucially, Garrido and his cast show an unerring sense of when to speed through recitative as if it were conversation, when to linger over the notes, and when to employ a solid rhythmic pulse. Jacobs's version may have more theatrical excitement, but Garrido makes more beautiful music--and, ultimately, more convincing drama. --Matthew Westphal

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CD Reviews

The best Ulisse available
Sergio Mascate Pires (spires@bn.pt) | Lisbon, Portugal | 10/14/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Forget the old Harnoncourt recording: Sure it was an outstandig achievment in the early seventies, but today is really outdated. Jacobs version is fine indeed, but this recording is splendid and surpasses it. The singers are simply starring, specially Gloria Banditelli as Penelope (the lament in the fist act is breathtaking). Garrido chooses the right instruments for each ocasion, and the right sinfonias and chorus for the missing parts, all with a high sense of good taste and sensibility for the drama. An exceptional recording."
A noble and magical saga - and cheap too
Julian Grant | London, Beijing, New York | 03/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This set presents a different reading to the opulent Rene Jacobs performance, though that is extremely enjoyable too. This one is restrained, but has an intensity in its story telling that is very compelling. It is extremely well cast, with singers that can act with the voice, subtle vocal inflexion being an essential to bring alive Monteverdi's extraordinary declamation. Gloria Banditelli presents a Penelope that is very much a slow burner, but riveting in her intensity of the opening lament (CD 1, track 3), and in her scene with Telemaco (Jean Paul Fouchecourt) who handles the big monologue about Helen of Troy very impressively (CD 3 track 1). Garrido, like Jacobs fills in the missing portions of this drama with music from other works of Monteverdi, and some of his contemporaries, and these scenes, in general more fully scored and extrovert, contrast well with the more intimate and sparsely instrumented scenes of human drama. I would question the use of an interpolated chorus at the very close of Act 5 - Jacobs ends the opera with the duet for the reunited Ulisse and Penelope, which feels musically and dramatically right - but its a small point, and you can omit the chorus yourself!I'm giving 4 out of 5 stars, just because the set does not come with an English translation - a drawback in as literary an opera as this - it is translated into French. Is this why it's so cheap? - a bargain indeed."