Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco have been doing this fo
Baroque and opera freak | Hong Kong | 05/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After just my first listen to several of the fine Handel opera recordings on this 30-year anniversary reissue set, all I can say is that I am totally amazed that Alan Curtis and his ensemble, Il Complesso Barocco, have been doing these masterful recordings of Handel operas for as long as 30 years now. Thus our newly-beloved Alcina and Ezio (and the consummate Tolemeo) are only the latest in a long series of leading-edge recordings of Handel operas that deserve to be listened to over and over and over ... and over. Note that all of the booklet notes and the libretti are included in this set - on one priceless CD-ROM disk. Even Fernando - perhaps one of the two least exciting performances in this set - is full of fantastic music, topped by the intoxicating singing of Filippo Adami, Lawrence Zazzo and Veronica Cangemi, not to mention the counter-tenor Max Emanuel Cencic - who very recently put in a great performance as Faramondo in the opera recording of the same name, conducted by Diego Fosolis. Handel never wrote an opera that was not very good, and all Handel lovers will enjoy this passionate recording of Fernando - as well as the five other masterpieces in this quite incredible commemorative set ("Radamisto" and "Deidamia" being already established as super-classic recordings). The earliest recording in the set by far is "Admeto - Re di Tessaglia" (1978) which (as the booklet tells us) was a great success in its time, receiving 19 performances in its first season (more than any other of Handel's dramatic works). In spite of my reservations about Rene Jacobs as a countertenor in the title role, the other soloists carry this recording off very well, and though the arias are a bit variable in quality (mostly due to Jacobs), there is a great deal of excellent music on the recording, and for lovers of Curtis and his people it is a historic recording to have - while we wait for a new and definitive recording of this opera by Curtis or, better still perhaps, a conductor who is still willing to use countertenors. And I must say to be fair that Jacobs (my favourite Baroque conductor) manages some pretty fine performances, such as track 16 on the first disk, in which sometimes one can forget that it is Jacobs singing. The musical backing, at least, is second to none."
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 06/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unless you already own three or more of the six operas included in this 'splendid little box', you need to order it now, before it sells out. I've decided to review each of the six operas independently, beginning with "Arminio", my favorite under-appreciated Handel work; that review has been posted.
The six operas in the box are:
RODRIGO - 2 CDs recorded in 1999, with Gloria Banditelli, Sandrine Piau, Roberta Invernizzi
RADAMISTO - 3 CDs 2005, with Zachary Stains, Dominique Labelle, Joyce DiDonato
ADMETO - 3 CDs 1978, with René Jacobs, James Bowman, Max von Egmond
FERNANDO - 2 CDs 2007, with Lawrence Zazzo, Max Cencic, Antonio Abete
ARMINIO - 2 CDs 2001, with Vivica Genoux, Dominique Labelle, Riccardo Ristori
DEIDAMIA - 3 CDs 2003, with Simone Kermes, Anna Bonitatibus, Furio Zanassi
Librettos are included on a CD-rom. A helpful resource for opera recordings that come without printed notes is the collection of synopses posted by naxos.com/education/opera
Post Script: As of July 1st, I've reviewed separately: Deidamia, Rodrigo, Radamisto, and Arminio, all splendid!"
Well worth it
DBF | 01/22/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Every recording is perfect, hours of listening. Ordered through vendor "reflexcdgb" and paid MUCH less than Amazon price, even with shipping from UK to US."