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Handel: Julius Caesar [Box set, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

George Frideric Handel , Julius Rudel , New York City Opera , Maureen Forrester , Eugenia Earle , Beverly Sills , Norman Treigle , Spiro Malas , Michael Devlin , Beverly Wolff Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Maureen Forrester, Eugenia Earle, Beverly Sills, Norman Treigle, Spiro Malas, et al.
  • Orchestra: New York City Opera
  • Conductor: Julius Rudel
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • 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: Alliance
  • ASIN: B000003EOP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,594 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Julius Ceasar: Overture - Wolff
2. Julius Ceasar: Viva, viva il nostro Alcide! - Wolff
3. Julius Ceasar: Presti omai l'Egizia terra - Wolff
4. Julius Ceasar: Curio, Cesare venna e vide e vinse - Wolff
5. Julius Ceasar: Sua reggia tolomeo - Wolff
6. Julius Ceasar: Giulio, che miri? - Wolff
7. Julius Ceasar: Empio, diro, tu sei - Wolff
8. Julius Ceasar: Gia torna in se - Wolff
9. Julius Ceasar: Priva son d'ogni conforto - Wolff
10. Julius Ceasar: Vani sono i lamenti - Wolff
See all 22 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Julius Ceasar: E seguisti, o Niren - G.F. Handel
2. Julius Ceasar: Taci! -- che fia? - G.F. Handel
3. Julius Ceasar: V'adoro, pupille - G.F. Handel
4. Julius Ceasar: Non ha in cielo - G.F. Handel
5. Julius Ceasar: Piu amabile belta - G.F. Handel
6. Julius Ceasar: Deh, piangete, o mesti lumi - G.F. Handel
7. Julius Ceasar: Se a me non sei crudele - G.F. Handel
8. Julius Ceasar: Si spietata - G.F. Handel
9. Julius Ceasar: Madre! Ferma! - G.F. Handel
10. Julius Ceasar: Cessa omai di sospirare! - G.F. Handel
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Handel - Julius Caesar / Treigle · Sills · Forrester · Wolff · NYCO · Rudel

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A document of a superstar in a signature role! January 5, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Beverly Sills, in her autobiography "Bubbles", acknowledges that the role of Cleopatra was the turning point of her career, after years of "utility singing" at City Opera. This recording documents the wildly successful 1966 production that turned Sills into an "overnight sensation." Though Handel purists today may find fault with its lack of completeness or style, the recording remains important not only for Sills' radiant Cleopatra, but also for capturing the late Norman Treigle's characterization in the title role. Treigle was particularly riveting in the theater and puzzlingly under-recorded. Other roles in the recording are filled lavishly with Beverly Wolff, Spiro Malas, and the great contralto Maureen Forrester. But again, this recording is Sills' show all the way. Her rendition of "V'adoro, pupille" is one of the great moments in opera--any opera--with golden trills in abundance and a finely spun, luminous legato that halts your own breath. No wonder crowds were on their feet at City Opera when this production was first mounted, cheering loudly and long--and deservedly so. It's a disc no collection should be without, and at a friendly price, to boot!
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Untraditional but Wonderful Nevertheless! July 2, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Although this opera was originally written for a castrati in the title role, and is usually sung today by a counter-tenor or a mezzo-soprano, American bass-baritone Norman Treigle takes the role and runs with it in this 1966 (recorded in 1967) N.Y. City Opera production. This is Handel's most performed opera today, and while critics may debate whether or not it is his "best", it is full of glorious music.
And it is superbly sung. The supporting case is uniformly excellent. Mezzo-soprano Beverly Wolff is an ardent and fiercly vengeful Sextus, Canadian contralto Maureen Forrester has a wonderful richnes of tone as Cornelia, Pompey's widow, bass Spiro Malas is appropriately malevolent as Cleopatra's brother Ptolemy, and baritone Dominic Cossa brings tremendous musicality to the small role of Achillas, Ptolemy's military advisor.
And then there is the young Beverly Sills in the role of Cleopatra, the second of three roles that made her a superstar. (She had come to the opera-going public's attention in The Ballad of Baby Doe, but this is the role that put her into the top ranks, followed by Massenet's Manon which enshrined her up with Sutherland and Caballe.) She and Treigle simply tear up the stage, and their duets are just remarkable, making you think that if Handel had heard this version he would have rewritten the role of Caesar for a bass-baritone!
National Public Radio's "Curious Listener's Guide to Opera" lists it as the best available recording of the opera, and while purists might disagree, it's certainly my favorite. Well worth buying.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sills and Treigle are dazzling.... November 3, 2000
Format:Audio CD
When I discovered this recording was available, I immediately ordered it. As a fan of Sills, I had read all about the hoopla over her City Opera 'discovery' as Cleopatra and wanted to hear what the fuss was all about. Was it warranted? Oh yes, indeed it was...and then some.
This 2 disc set recorded in 1967, one year after her tiumphant debut in this role, needs to be in every serious opera lovers collection. I can truthfully say I have NEVER heard a soprano, who at the peak of her powers, so completely dominates a recording with such impeccable understanding of the Baroque and sings with constant beauty and purity of tone.
While all performers excel here under the marvelous direction of conductor Julius Rudel, make no mistake, it is Beverly Sills whose performance leaves her listener limp with delight and in awe of such a force of nature.
While most operaphiles are familiar with the aria 'Piangero la sorte mia' (which Sills delivers with great control and warmth of tone, displaying a fiery B section capitulating with some lovely ornamentation), it is her Second Act aria, 'V'adoro, pupille', which caused me to repeat the aria and sit there, amazed.
This listener has NEVER heard a finer example of the Baroque aria. Sills lush and bright soprano lovingly deliver arching and limpid phrases such as no other soprano has done as effective. This simple but achingly lovely melody is suddenly transformed to a showpiece; Sills incredible trills and exciting ornamentation making it all the more poignant and absolutely mesmerising.
Why Mr. Treigle was never invited to debut at the Metropolitan is a puzzlement. Certainly no bass had a warmer and secure a tone, impeccable coloratura (all the more impressive as most basses are clumsy at best) and 'jump off the disc' excitement.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By V. Chau
Format:Audio CD
Handel wrote a masterpiece when he wrote "Giulio Cesare". This Baroque opera is stunning in its beauty and drama. Handel's exquisite melodies are showcased in the numerous arias found in this opera. Special mention has to go to the very melodious opening Sinfonia and the warlike Sinfonia on Track 15, CD 2. Notice how the harpsichord imitates the sound of swords clashing. It is perfectly descriptive of a battle. Handel wrote some gorgeous music for this opera and the New York City Opera Orchestra performs it marvelously. The orchestra players are especially brilliant playing the fast music. It is too bad that not all the arias Handel wrote are included on this recording. And it is quite sad that Julius Rudel cut out the B and repeat A sections of some of the arias that are included. I would have liked the love duet between Caesar and Cleopatra conducted faster. It should also have been given complete instead of cut.
The singers are top-notch, if not totally ideal. Norman Treigle is a fantastic Caesar. He acts very well. However, there are two things missing from his performance. First, he cannot handle the coloratura like an expert. He tries to trill and execute runs, but the results are poor. Second, his Italian diction could be clearer. Maureen Forrester is an excellent Cornelia. She has fine Italian diction, but like Treigle, her coloratura is seriously lacking. Even so, she performs her arias with dignity and convincing drama. Beverly Wolff makes a great Sextus. She acts passionately and is altogether great. Again, like Treigle and Forrester, she cannot handle the coloratura comfortably. These complaints shouldn't diminish from the excellent work that those three singers do on this recording. The rest of the cast is great. Dominic Cossa must be mentioned.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars In response to "Giordano Bruno"
I expect that the pretentiously named Giordano Bruno wrote his review to rile up supporters of this recording. Do we need even more trolling in public forums? Read more
Published 1 month ago by Regis Rosenberg
4.0 out of 5 stars not authentic, but it works
If you want a recording of "Julius Caesar" that uses a fuller text, respects Handel's ordering of numbers, and is more in accord with period practice, go for the Harmonia Mundi one... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Stanley Crowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent
This is the first Handel opera I ever heard in its entirety and, besides being his greatest opera, this is the best recording/performance of it. Read more
Published 13 months ago by John Stewart
4.0 out of 5 stars A time capsule real fans of the voice won't want to miss
It may be dated and historically inaccurate (since the role of Julius Caesar, sung here by Norma Treigle, Handel intended for a counter-tenor), but it's great to hear Beverly Sills... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Jeffrey P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent seller - reliable - fast shipment - will use again
Superb recording - transfer from LP's was made
successfully and sound improved with transfer -
libretto did not lose texts due to down sizing
Published 15 months ago by ERNEST DAMATO
5.0 out of 5 stars Sills in PRIME voice!
I'm in love with this recording!

High end recordings of Sills in her earlier years are far and few between, so this is truly a gem. Read more
Published on June 12, 2012 by Tomaso
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect Julius Caesar
This splendid recording of one of Handel's masterpieces is worth the price if only to hear Beverly Sills sing the breathtaking "V'adoro pupille. Read more
Published on January 4, 2012 by Roni Batzion
4.0 out of 5 stars Sills' vocal fireworks!
Although the case was slightly cracked when I received the shipment, the cds inside were in perfect shape. Read more
Published on March 24, 2011 by tkgsingsct
1.0 out of 5 stars Yes Yes, I Know It's a Historical Recording ...
... but it's appallingly awful! There's no reason why it should still be marketed. The opera has been bowdlerized - portions cut, arias reordered - and the 'male' roles originally... Read more
Published on January 3, 2011 by Giordano Bruno
5.0 out of 5 stars Handel - Julius Caesar / Treigle · Sills · Forrester · Wolff · NYCO ·...
Handel - Julius Caesar / Treigle · Sills · Forrester · Wolff · NYCO · Rudel is a recording under the direction of Julius Rudel who leads the New York City Opera and Chorus on this... Read more
Published on September 25, 2010 by Bjorn Viberg
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