Search - Claudio Monteverdi, John Eliot Gardiner, Anthony Rolfe Johnson :: Monteverdi - L'Orfeo / Rolfe Johnson, Dawson, von Otter, Argenta, M. Nichols, Tomlinson, Chance, Baird; Gardiner

Monteverdi - L'Orfeo / Rolfe Johnson, Dawson, von Otter, Argenta, M. Nichols, Tomlinson, Chance, Baird; Gardiner
Claudio Monteverdi, John Eliot Gardiner, Anthony Rolfe Johnson
Monteverdi - L'Orfeo / Rolfe Johnson, Dawson, von Otter, Argenta, M. Nichols, Tomlinson, Chance, Baird; Gardiner
Genre: Classical
 
History's first great opera--the story of Orpheus descending to Hades to retrieve his bride Eurydice from the dead, only to lose her again--gets a fine performance (the best overall version currently available) from John E...  more »

      
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Amazon.com essential recording
History's first great opera--the story of Orpheus descending to Hades to retrieve his bride Eurydice from the dead, only to lose her again--gets a fine performance (the best overall version currently available) from John Eliot Gardiner and his musicians. Anthony Rolfe Johnson performs the title role with all the beautiful sound you'd expect from an Orfeo; he negotiates virtuoso passages flawlessly and sings passionately without overwhelming Monteverdi's music with too much voice. Julianne Baird as Eurydice and Anne Sofie Von Otter in a gripping appearance as the Messenger are the standouts in a cast without a weak link. Everyone involved, including the chorus and orchestra, performs with such energy, beauty, and precision that even long stretches of recitative never pall. --Matthew Westphal
 

CD Reviews

Dissenting oPINION?
P. M Simon | New Mexico | 02/03/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"WELL, YOU CAN READ ABOUT A DOZEN GLORIOUS REVIEWS OF THIS, MY FAVORITE OPERA, FROM OTHERS BELOW.

If you'd like some more balanced feedback before you spend a LOT of money on this set, you might consider reading on, though. \\I've been a fan of Monteverdi since I was 15, and of L'Orfeo since college days. I'm in my second half-century now, and still clinging to LP's of a period-instrument version of the opera and the Rodriguez concert suite version, alas never to come this way again.

In general, the recording here is decent. The enunciation is clear, the technical performances on the instruments well-executed, and the conducting is competent. What bothered me was, more than anything else, the poor acoustics- the resonances of a good concert hall just weren't there.

I also frankly didn't find that all the German and English-speaking singers had full mastery of Italian pronunciation and timing. In fact, timing was a bete noir for me on this-- the pacing was much too fast on most arias and many instrumentals.

But, hey, you can hear enough excerpts here to make up your own mind, right? For my money, and call me a cheap old geezer, I'm afraid I'm sticking with the ancient LP's a while longer.

"
Monteverdi - L'Orfeo / Rolfe Johnson, Dawson, von Otter, Arg
Bjorn Viberg | European Union | 10/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Monteverdi - L'Orfeo / Rolfe Johnson, Dawson, von Otter, Argenta, M. Nichols, Tomlinson, Chance, Baird; Gardiner is a splenid recording with the Monteverdi Choir, The English Baroque Soloist and His Majesties Sagbutts & Cornetts under the guidance of John Elliot Gardiner. Archiv Prouktion have done a great job with the sound quality and it truly sounds as if one is hearing this in person. The book-let is of a very high quality and one must say that Gardiner picked some amazing singers (Willard White and Ann Sofie Von Otter). The book-let is a massiv 124 pages long and is filled with many fine photographs, an excellent essay written Gardiner and the complete lyrics. This is a recording not to be missed. 5 well deserved stars."
CD purchase
Mark Twain | 06/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"excellent serviceMonteverdi - L'Orfeo / Rolfe Johnson, Dawson, von Otter, Argenta, M. Nichols, Tomlinson, Chance, Baird; Gardiner"