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Vivaldi: Orlando Furioso / Spinosi, Lemieux, Larmore, Cangemi [DVD]

Album Summary

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Orlando furioso, RV 728
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Available for the first time on DVD, Nanve presents the 2011 world premiere staged recording of Orlando Furioso, seven years after the CD release that launched contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux onto the world stage. Filmed at the at Paris ThTGtre des Champs-ElysTes, this DVD features performances by renowned singers including Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Jennifer Larmore, Veronica Cangemi, and Philippe Jaroussky, conducted by Jean-Christophe Spinosi. 'With the passage of time and the accumulation of experience, the psychological genius of Vivaldi grips us even more strongly than in the past. Today his music appears to us even obviously as a veritable scanner of the human soul, revealing to us with still greater intensity the incredibly timeless character of the protagonists and their problems. More than ever, Alcina, Angelica and Orlando affirm in our eyes and hearts their stature as our contemporaries. Their strengths and weaknesses, their sufferings and joys, seem so palpable that our empathy for them has never been so total. Never has this masterpiece moved us so deeply.' - Jean-Christophe Spinosi and FrTdTric DelamTa (Reprinted from the ThTGtre des Champs-+lysTes's program book, March 2011)

"Written in 1727, halfway through the Red Priest’s operatic career, it’s packed with lovely arias and is generally regarded as among the very best of his works for the stage... Ensemble Matheus are a crack team of Baroquistas – quite a large string band – with superb playing, highly responsive to its director. What really made this performance come alive were the fizzing recitatives, accompanied by alert continuo playing of the highest standard, such as the rocking cello arpeggios to depict a storm at sea... We were treated to the fabulous singing of Philippe Jaroussky, whose silvery, high counter-tenor in ‘Sol da te’ was a thing of tremendous beauty, echoing the mellifluous flute-playing of Alexis Kossenko. Jaroussky’s singing throughout the evening was a delight and I can think of no counter-tenor I’d rather listen to... Marie-Nicole Lemieux's energy and ability to communicate to the entire audience was, at times, outrageous. Her ebony-coloured low notes are splendid and although the coloratura sprays notes around like a machine-gun, it’s thrilling stuff. I’m not sure what the furry thing round Lemieux’s neck was, but I wouldn’t mind betting she’d throttled it with her bare hands, so terrifying was this portrayal; here’s a contralto that eats counter-tenors for breakfast!" -Opera-Britannia.com

International Record Review
[Lemieux] creates a tour de force in dealing successfully with bravado arias and in her expenditure of physical energy as she portrays Orlando in the throes of his madness...The vocal delights do not end there, for other soloists perform with panache, each showing a worthy technique...Spinosi's lively direction of the music as inspiriting as his orchestra's playing.

Gramophone Magazine
It's a tour de force: I didn't enjoy it much, but then I don't 'enjoy' King Lear either...[Lemieux] gives a knockout performance (despite the handicap of facial hair more suitable to Stravinsky's Baba the Turk)...Not a bundle of laughs, but you shouldn't miss this - it's a real eye-opener.

BBC Music Magazine
Alcina's is an 'isle full of noises' and conductor Jean-Christophe Spinosi knows exactly how to extract every last dramatic nuance from them...Jaroussky is a winsome Ruggiero...Larmore's Alcina is the triumph it ever was...[Lemieux's Orlando's] madness holds the eye and ear with every heart-wrenching syllable. It a performance as vital as this, however counterintuitive it might seem, Vivaldi can give Handel a run for his operatic money any day.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 190 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Subtitles: English, French


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Works Details

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Orlando furioso, RV 728
  • Performers: Romina Basso (Mezzo Soprano); Veronica Cangemi (Soprano); Kristina Hammarström (Mezzo Soprano); Philippe Jaroussky (Countertenor); Jennifer Larmore (Mezzo Soprano); Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Mezzo Soprano); Christian Senn (Bass)
  • Conductor: Jean-Christophe Spinosi
  • Ensemble: Ensemble Matheus
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1727