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Telemann: Flavius Bertaridus

Notes & Reviews:

Telemann composed more than 40 works for the opera house in Hamburg, and Flavius Bertaridus, debuted in November, 1729, is the only one of his opera serie to survive. The respected theorist, composer, and diplomat Johann Mattheson, a major figure in Hamburg's musical scene (now famous primarily for almost killing Handel in a duel), in an attempt to make opera- going a "better" moral experience, had delivered an edict that opera serie should have no comic characters. Flavius was one of the results. In addition, Telemann composed the "informational" recits and arias in German and the emotion-laden arias in Italian. Hamburg was the center of the Hanseatic League, and the comings-and-goings of many nationalities was far greater than in almost any other German city, so the entire undertaking makes a certain amount of sense.

Alessandro de Marchi leads the superb Academia Montis Regalis in a confident, crisp reading that makes the most of Telemann's amazingly rich orchestration and choral episodes. This is an important release; it may not be a masterpiece on a Mozartean level, but it introduces listeners to a unknown aspect of Georg Philip Telemann and provides a missing link in Baroque opera. The sonics - I believe it was recorded live over a period of four nights at performances in Innsbruck - are very good. A rarity for some; a necessity for others.

BBC Music Magazine, April 2013
That the work was indifferently received should not dull our ears to the engaging music, which is characteristically eclectic in style. Almost every imaginable instrument makes an appearance...Maite Beaumont, in the title role and Nina Bernsteiner are perhaps the most consistently rewarding [singers]...Mainly very enjoyable.

The Guardian, 15th November 2012
It's a one-off hybrid that mixes German counterpoint with Italian lyricism by setting a text that whirls bizarrely from one language to the other depending on the momentary mood...de Marchi's conducting is impressively grand manner, while Maite Beaumont (Bertaridus) and Ann-Beth Solvang (Flavia) give the best vocal performances.


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