A wonderful version with a female contralto as Orfeo
nicngu | 12/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What makes this set so special is that, although this is (again) a recording of the original 1762 Italian version of Gluck's most celebrated (and recorded) opera, Jacobs has decided to cast a female alto as Orfeo rather that a countertenor, as has become "fashionable" in the recent(ish) recordings of this work. So, how does Ms. Bernada Fink compare to Michael Chance (for Bernius,on Sony), Derek Lee Ragin (for Gardiner), or Rene Jacobs himself (for Kuijken on Accent, my favourite recording until now) all strongest contendants ? Well to me, she first demonstrates how much more immediately appealling, how much richer a female contralto voice can sound compared to a countertenor (sorry guys !). Apart from the appeal of the voice itself, she is a first class Orfeo, very moving indeed, but this should not surprise you if you have already heard her many contribution to the record (her Cornelia in Handel's "Giulio Cesare" and her Cain in Scarlatti's "Il primo omicidio" come particularly recommended). This is now my favourite version."