He conducts Bruckner, Gershwin, Beethoven, Verdi and Johann Strauss, but at the beginning of his career Nikolaus Harnoncourt, one of the most renowned Maestros of our time, was a major pioneer of historical performance practice. With his ensemble Concentus Musicus Wien he reestablished the "Original Sound" in the concert hall of the 20th Century.
From 1968 to 1974 Harnoncourt rediscovered the works of Claudio Monteverdi, resulting in three studio recordings of his operas. Among the vocalists recorded are Paul Esswood, Kurt Equiluz, and Max van Egmond, but also popular opera singers, such as Elisabeth Söderström, Helen Donath, and Sven-Olof Eliasson. These highly esteemed recordings are now re-released in a 9-CD box set together with Harnoncourt's Monteverdi album of the legendary Chathy Berberian that has been out of stock for many years.
Featuring L'Orfeo, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, and L'incoronazione de Poppea plus the great scene Lamento d 'Arianna, the sole surviving fragment of an Ariadne opera of 1608, the release is a complete edition of Monteverdi's dramatic works. These productions are still regarded as milestones that should not be labelled as "historical recordings", after all they sound as fresh and sensual as ever!
CD 1-2: L'Orfeo
CD 3-5: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria
CD 6-8: L'incoronazione di Poppea
CD 9: Cathy Berberian sings Monteverdi