An opera that should be better known-
Todd Nolan | Seattle, WA USA | 01/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a treat it is to have what seems like a Handel opera (or two, or three) newly recorded every month or thereabouts. I was thrilled to see this Riccardo Primo by Paul Goodwin & the Basel Chamber Orchestra since I like this setting of Richard the Lion-Hearted as well as my favorite Handel operas - Orlando, Alcina, Ottone, Rodelinda - and to me there are more show-stopping arias in Riccardo Primo than some of Handel's contemporary rival composers could muster in their entire opus.
Highlights include Costanza's Act 1 "Se Peri L'Amato Bene"; her Act 2 "Caro, vieni a me!"; her Act 3 "Morte, Vieni !" & "Bacia Per Me La Mano..." and "Il Volo Cosio Fido" with a wonderful piccolo/soprano recorder accompaniment in the final scene. And her duet with King Richard, "T'amo, si !", is ten minutes of heaven.
Goodwin's Basel group does a nice job, but I prefer Christophe Rousset's '96 recording with Les Talens Lyriques. Sandrine Piau, Sara Mingardo, Claire Brua and the other soloists in Rousset's group move me more than the up & coming Lawrence Zazzo, Nuria Rial and their cohorts. The countertenor Zazzo has been getting positive reviews from all quarters lately, but I like contralto Sara Mingardo more in the role of Richard. I also enjoyed listening to Piau's Costanza more than Rial's. But both bands will give listeners an exciting discovery if they haven't heard this Handel offering before. Highly recommended for those who value beautiful singing, baroque or otherwise, and masterful song-writing."
Handel: Riccardo Primo
Konrad Peter | 03/19/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Originally I wanted to purchase this Handel opera in performance of Mingardo, Piau, Lallouette, etc, but it wasn't available since a very long time. Now I could observe that it was produced in a new edition with Zazzo, Rial and so on. As I could listen to extracts of the former release now I could have a comparison with the newer one and could state that there is a slight difference only between the two releases. I find that the former release has a little bit softer sound and is performed more similarly to the style what I am used to listenig Handel's operas.