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Emma Kirkby - Handel Opera Arias and Overtures · 2 / Brandenburg Consort · Goodman Import

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Audio CD, Import, May 9, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Yes indeed, the Divine Miss Em has still got it. It was the late 1970s when Emma Kirkby first became the leading diva of the early-music revival. More than 20 years on, as this disc of mostly lesser-known Handel treats demonstrates--a follow-up to volume I--Kirkby remains a spectacular Handel singer. The pure tone, control over vibrato, astonishing agility, and immaculate delivery that made her world famous are all still in place; if anything, two decades of experience have made her even more brave and imaginative in the way she embellishes a da capo aria. It must be said that Kirkby also retains a somewhat restricted palette of vocal color. As Ted Perry of Hyperion Records has put it, "She sounds like a nice person, and she is." This means, of course, that she has never sounded entirely convincing in portraying intense grief, fear, or fury. So her big soliloquy-aria from Alcina, "Ah, Ruggiero! / Ombre pallide," in which the eponymous sorceress tries desperately to conjure spirits, isn't entirely persuasive dramatically, however skillfully Kirkby sings it. The other arias are much better suited to her gifts, however: the melancholy in "Son qual stanco" from Arianna in Creta, the tender pleas of "Caro padre" from Ezio, and the dialogue with solo oboe from Berenice are all beautifully rendered. The beginning and end of the disc are the real treats, though. Kirkby's virtuosity in "Scherza in mar" from Lotario is positively dizzying, and her aria from Deidamia is both thrilling and emotionally affecting. --Matthew Westphal

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Lotario: Ov - The Brandenburg Consort/Roy Goodman
  2. Lotario: Act I: Scherza In Mar
  3. Partenope: Act I: Io Ti Levo
  4. Ezio: Act I: Caro Padre
  5. Sosarme, Re Di Media: Act I: Ditte Pace
  6. Sosarme, Re Di Media: Act III: Vorrei, Ne Pur Saprei
  7. Atalanta: Ov - The Brandenburg Consort/Roy Goodman
  8. Arianna In Creta: Act II: Son Qual Stanco
  9. Alcina: Act III: Ah! Ruggiero
  10. Berenice, Regina D'Egitto: Act III: Chi T'intende?
  11. Deidamia: Ov - The Brandenburg Consort/Roy Goodman
  12. Deidamia: Act III: M'hai Resa Infelice

Product Details

  • Performer: Emma Kirkby
  • Orchestra: Brandenburg Consort
  • Conductor: Roy Goodman
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (May 9, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion UK
  • ASIN: B00004SV5E
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #550,146 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dale Higbee on September 5, 2005
This is a marvellous introduction to the world of Handel operas. Emma Kirkby is in superb form and the playing by the Brandenburg Consort is also first-class. The well selected program includes a nice variety of absolutely fabulous music. This is a CD that you will listen to over and over again and never get tired of. Give a copy to your friends. - Dale Higbee
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