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Agostino Steffani: Niobe, Regina di Tebe, opera / Gauvin, Jaroussky et al.; Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra; O'Dette, Stubbs

Album Summary

>Steffani, Agostino : Niobe Regina di Tepe, opera
Conductors Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Sunday Times, 8th February 2015
Gauvin's flinty soprano is ideal for her role, and while Jaroussky's boyish tones never sound heroic, he is an expressive, musical artist who makes something special of Amphion's laments. The supporting cast are stylists, and Steffani's music - hovering somewhere between Alessandro Scarlatti and Lully - repays repeated listening.

BBC Music Magazine, March 2015
It is a scrupulously detailed, slow-burning performance with an outstanding viol consort...The supporting roles are strongly cast...Jaroussky is at his best in music of penetrating sweetness and curdles under pressure. The laurels go to Gauvin, whose magnificent, creamy soprano ignites in the fury and anguish of Act III.

Gramophone Magazine, March 2015
Jaroussky sounds in his elements when Anfione ensconces himself in his Palace of Harmony...Gauvin captures not only Niobe's haughty pride and capricious cruelty but also her sensuality, folly and gullibility...The performance is never forced but always emotive...An exemplary testament of superb musicianship from all participants...this is a landmark event in Steffani's much-deserved rehabilitation.

The Times, 23rd January 2015
As a crafter of spellbinding moments this composer...fully deserves a place in history...Steffani's a true 17th-century European, blending influences from France, Italy and Germany. It's a very potent mix. And his instrumentation is gorgeously multicoloured...there's never a doubt over Jaroussky's sweet arabesques, or the prideful throbbing of Gauvin's Niobe.

The Guardian, 12th February 2015
Karina Gauvin exudes hauteur as Niobe, opposite Philippe Jaroussky's elegant, noble Anfione. Listen out for the star turns from Aaron Sheehan, rapturous as Niobe's would-be lover Clearte, and Jesse Blumberg as the sinister yet meddling sorcerer Poliferno.

Agostino Steffani's sumptuous 1688 opera Niobe, Regina di Tebe has proved a revelation to audiences since its first modern production in 2008. This new recording starts the spellbinding French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who "sang powerfully and sweetly and created a nuanced portrayal of the puzzlingly indolent, vain and, in the end, less puzzlingly bitter Anfione" (The New York Times) in the opera's US premiere at the Boston Early Music Festival in 2011, with Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin in the title role of the proud but tragic Theban queen.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sendesaal, Bremen (11/01/2013-11/14/2013).


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Works Details

>Steffani, Agostino : Niobe Regina di Tepe, opera
  • Conductor: Paul O'Dette
  • Ensemble: Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra
  • Notes: Sendesaal, Bremen (11/01/2013-11/14/2013)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta