Virgin Classics presents a new complete opera recording Handel's Giove in Argo conducted by Alan Curtis, a supreme Handelian conductor and scholar. The opera is one of Handel's three pasticcio works made up of music and arias from his previous operas. Even though the work premiered at the King's Theatre in London on 1739 to a full house, after one more performance the opera disappeared from the stage. Whether it was due to possible reconstruction or its unpopularity, Giove in Argo was never performed again.
Featured in this recording is an all-star cast including Ann Hallenberg, Theodora Baka, Karina Gauvin, Anicio Zorzi Giustiniani, Johannes Weisser, and Ito Priante. The European ensemble Il Complesso Barocco, under the direction of its founder Curtis, is also heard in this recording.
Alan Curtis is one of the most acclaimed specialists in the interpretation of pre-romantic music. The New York Times' recently proclaimed him as one of the great scholar-musicians of recent times". In 2010, Virgin Classics released Curtis' recording of Handel's opera Berenice. Opera News welcomed it, saying: "At the helm of the superb period-instrument ensemble Il Complesso Barocco, with its smooth violin section and supple, energetic continuo, Alan Curtis paces a well-chosen cast with his customary precision and command ... Singers never seem musically constrained or theatrically hampered, and ... the cast exhibits a welcome sureness with Handel's style and rhetorical presentation, both individually and as an ensemble."
Gramophone has said that "Alan Curtis has done more than most to prove that many of Handel's 42 operas are first-rate music dramas", while the BBC Music Magazine has praised him as "a seasoned Handelian who has contributed, perhaps more than anyone now, to the composer's operas on disc."