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Vivaldi: Orlando furioso / Spinosi, et al

Album Summary

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Orlando furioso, opera in 3 acts, RV 728
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"This might just be the best recording ever made of a baroque opera." - Lawson Taitte, Dallas Morning News

BBC Music Magazine
Jean-Christophe Spinosi's imaginative interpretation of Vivaldi's Orlando, excellently cast and performed.

Gramophone Magazine
This is a magnificent achievement, and one of the pinnacles of Opus 111's monumental Vivaldi Edition. If Vivaldi needed a champion to more firmly establish his credentials as a fully-fledged opera composer, then this recording is it.

BBC Music Magazine
Spinosi and his excellent team of musicians have revised history's judgement of Orlando furioso by their compelling presentation.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Vivaldi's opera combines magic, heroism and comedy to tell of a seductive sorceress, a noble knight driven insane by love, a feisty fiancTe who disguises herself as a man to rescue her bewitched lover, and a magic ring that helps ensure everything ends happily ever after. This recording bears the fruit of Vivaldi scholar FrTdTric DelamTa's painstaking reconstruction of the original 1727 version. Marie-Nicole Lemieux's delivery of Orlando's anguished and often unhinged recitative is astonishingly good, full of conviction, passionate, and vocally brilliant.

When his sanity is restored, she achieves a tangible lucidity that makes the drama wholly satisfying.

Jennifer Larmore's sorceress Alcina is devious, vivacious, and venomous. Philippe Jaroussky's Ruggerio is adept at both delicacy and heroism and Ann Hallenberg is excellent as his fiancTe Bradamante.

Ensemble Matheus provide bright ritornelli and intelligent accompaniments. The playing is often abrasive and intentionally percussive in fast music, but the performers also excel at the softer moments. Spinosi's direction is vividly theatrical, and recitatives are declaimed with aplomb, although sometimes it sounds as if characters cannot wait to interrupt with their next line.

Vivaldi's score has a dramatic stature greater than most of his other operas. He rarely devoted much attention to accompanied recitatives, but here he composed several that are unusually extensive and adventurous. This is a magnificent achievement: if Vivaldi needed a champion to establish his credentials as an opera composer, then this recording is it.


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Works Details

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Orlando furioso, opera in 3 acts, RV 728
  • Performers: Lorenzo Regazzo (Bass Baritone); Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo-Soprano); Blandine Staskiewicz (Mezzo-Soprano); Veronica Cangemi (Soprano); Philippe Jaroussky (Countertenor); Jennifer Larmore (Mezzo Soprano); Jean-Christophe Spinosi (Violin)
  • Conductor: Jean-Christophe Spinosi
  • Ensemble: Ensemble Matheus
  • Running Time: 2 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 11/10/1727