Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Georg Philipp Telemann, René Jacobs, Roman Trekel|
Telemann - Orpheus / Trekel, Röschmann, Ziesak, Güra, Poulenard, Köhler, Kiehr, Jacobs
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Possibly Jacobs' finest achievement
email@example.com | 04/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was a stroke of genius and a labor of love for Rene Jacobs to pore over thousands of yellow pages of old manuscrips in order to prove to the world that Telemann's Orpheus was not a pastiche of pieces from other works but an inventive interpolation of several musical styles (and even languages) in a single masterpiece. The result is this magnificent recording which you should not miss. I would say that this is the greatest Jacobs' achievement to date. His intelligent direction does the greatest justice to Telemann's ingenious musical characterization of the protagonists' actions and moods. Each language, for example, is associated with a particular mood (the opera is sung interchangeably in Italian, German and French). Musical instruments ably depict nature (e.g. the singing of birds) and drama of the unfolding events (e.g. dissonances accompanying Eurydice's death, or the lovely tune portending Orpheus's entry into Pluto's kingdom). The opera even has a couple of comical interludes, very tastefully performed here. Notably, despite the fact that this opera dates from 1728, the main role is given to a baryton, instead of a castrato or haute-contre as was the norm during the period. To me, this highlighted the psychological realism of Telemann's Orpheus. The cast of soloists here is very distinguished. Roman Trekel makes a marvelous Orpheus. His best aria is "Ach, Tod, ach susser Tod!" which he sings with perfect legato and controlled emotion. Dorothea Roschmann as Orasia is one of Jacobs' greatest recent talent discoveries. Her aria "C'est ma plus chere envie" is worthy to stand alongside the most celebrated soprano arias in the known repertory. Ruth Ziesak, Werner Gura, Hanno Muller-Brachmann, Maria Cristina Kiehr and Isabelle Poulenard make smaller, but nevertheless wonderful contributions. The only person I didn't like was Axel Kohler, a countertenor in the role of Ascalax. I think Jacobs "spoils" countertenors who, having gone through his hands, start sounding like Jacobs himself. I won't go into a meandering discussion of why I don't like Kohler or Jacobs, because it's a matter of taste: you might well like them. I like countertenors like David James (or hautes-contre like Mark Padmore), so if you know what those sound like you'll know what's "wrong" with Kohler. But, like I said, that's a matter of idiosyncratic preferences. That aside, this recording of Orpheus is absolutely beyond reproach."
In the top 10 of Jacobs' recordings
Steven Guy | Croydon, South Australia | 09/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This opera is exceptional! For one thing, it is tri-lingual - in French, German and Italian. No, I am not kidding! Telemann not only was a true internationalist vis-à-vis musical styles, he was clearly quite cool with his singers singing Italian-styled arias in Italian, French style arias in French and German in most other places. The result is actually quite delightful.
On the musical front, Telemann showcases a range of musical styles. Some of this opera sounds like it was lifted from an opera by André Campra or Rameau. Some of it is in an elegant Italian Opera Buffa and Opera Seria styles and some of it sounds like proto-Mozart, in the Galante style.
Telemann was a great composer, that's for sure!
The cast of this opera is excellent and many of them also appear in Jacobs' other excellent recording of Reinhard Keiser's Croesus. Dorothea Röschmann, Roman Trekel and Werner Güra appear on both recordings. The wonderful and beautiful Isabelle Poulenard and Maria Cristina Kiehr appear in Orpheus and the role of Eurydice is sung by Ruth Ziesak, who is new to me. Countertenor, Axel Köhler sings the minor role of Ascalax and, although I don't mind his voice, a better countertenor could have been chosen.
The RIAS-Kammerchor and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin are in fine form and the entire opera is a joy to listen to from start to finish. René Jacobs is to be commended for bringing this delightful opera to us.
J. Gabrielson | Walnut Creek, Ca USA | 11/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This opera should be reissued. I was lucky to get a copy before it disappeared. A wonderful performance all around. I do like Rene Jacobs....he sang Gluck's Orpheus years ago with La Petite Bande when his own voice was in its prime."