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Handel: Ezio Box set

5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, May 12, 2009
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$34.12
$20.10 $7.22
$34.12 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Handel: Ezio + Handel: Tolomeo + Handel - Floridante / Mijanovic, DiDonato, Invernizzi, Rostorf-Zmir, Priante, Novaro, Il Complesso Barocco, Curtis
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Editorial Reviews


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Performer: Ann Hallenberg, Karina Gauvin, Sonia Prina, Marianne Andersen, Vito Priante, et al.
  • Orchestra: Il Complesso Barocco
  • Conductor: Alan Curtis
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (May 12, 2009)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Archiv Produktion
  • ASIN: B001QBXFS6
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,414 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Paul Van de Water on May 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ezio has long deserved a first-class recording, and Alan Curtis gives it to us, as he has with so many other neglected Handel operas. Now professor emeritus of musicology at Berkeley, Curtis helped kick off the Handel renaissance with his complete recording of Admeto Handel - Admeto / Jacobs, Yakar, Bowman, Dams, Cold, Gomez, van Egmond, Il Complesso Barocco, A. Curtis for EMI in 1977. That recording, which is still available on Virgin CD, starred Rene Jacobs, James Bowman, Max van Egmond, and other pioneers in historically informed performance. The band was Il Complesso Barocco, then comprised primarily of Dutch musicians.

Curtis didn't record any more Handel operas for many years afterwards, but recently he has more than made up for lost time. From his base near Florence, Curtis has reconstituted Il Complesso Barocco as a largely Italian ensemble. Since 1999, they have produced CDs of Alcina Handel: Alcina, Arminio, Berenice, Deidamia, Fernando, Floridante, Lotario, Radamisto, Rodelinda, Rodrigo, and Tolomeo and a fine DVD of Arioidante Handel - Ariodante / Hallenberg, Cherici, Vandoni Iorio, Nesi, Lepore, Stains, Prato, Il Compresso Brocco, Curtis, Pascoe (Spoleto Festival 2007). Many of these are first recordings, and several have won awards.

Here Curtis assembles another outstanding vocal cast. Swedish mezzo Ann Hallenberg (Ezio) took the title roles in Curtis's Ariodante and Tolomeo and has recorded many other Baroque works.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Rollo Tomassi on November 16, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Unfortunately I can't be enthusiastic about this Alan Curtis production. I've followed Curtis' stately progress through the Handel opera catalog with a great deal of pleasure, and felt that many were five-star performances. But this one achieves a level of mere high competency. I agree with the reviewer from MusicalCriticism.com, who said this recording "is an efficiently authentic interpretation of an under-exposed opera, and boasts a strong cast of singers. Yet somehow it lacks the sparkle that would really woo listeners to this unfamiliar opera. The whole enterprise is unfailingly stylish and correct but lacks the suppleness and the willingness to cast decorum aside every now and then and really get its hands dirty." Why?

Well, first, this is not the first Ezio recording, though it is the first "authentic". An earlier, much-maligned recording on Vox, conducted by Richard Auldon Clark, has been around for years. This version is truncated, and played on modern instruments--but, very occasionally, it has some of the "sparkle" this one lacks. That's not at all to say that I recommend the Auldon Clark version (still available) over this newer, complete one. Here, Ann Hallenberg (as Ezio) is quite good, and Karina Gauvin (as Fulvia) is acceptable (though not as good as Julianne Baird, a wonderful baroque soprano and the primary advantage of the Auldon Clark recording). Marianne Andersen as Onoria is the vocal low point of the Curtis effort, constantly rough and unlovely. Curtis' vocal star though,is tenor Anicio Giustiniani as Massimo, the scheming patrician. Massimo is a kind of Handelian Iago, and Giustiniani wears the role like a glove. Vito Priante is fine in the minor but important bass role of Varo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F. Rupert on October 27, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a good performance of Ezio, conducted by the estimable Alan Curtis. This opera has only been recorded once before that I know of, and it needed a good historically-informed version. This is it, sort of, but I confess to being disappointed after purchasing the MP3 version and listening to it.

The cast sings well, with a fair, but only fair, sense of acting in the recitatives. My pet peeve is singers who go through the recitatives in an uninvolved way. I give this performance a C in this regard. I've heard worse, but also much, much better.

The real reason I give this recording 4 stars and not 5 is the odd recording quality. The overall acoustic is on the dry side, with the singers closely miked. There is not much bloom to the sound, and it emphatically lacks much sense of theater. This comment would not apply to other Curtis recordings I've heard. Curtis's Faramondo is outstanding, for example. I think the recording engineers did a sub-standard job here, or maybe the recording venue is at fault, but Curtis deserves some blame for allowing it. Honestly, the close miking and relative lack of airiness to the sound feel like a throwback to those old early-stereo opera recordings from the 50s, with that "singers-glued-to-their-mikes" sound. It's not as bad as that, but it well short of the standard set by Faramondo.

A significant treble boost on playback helps the sound, btw.

Overall, it's a good performance, but it could have been even better.
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