Handel: Rinaldo Import, Box set
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Top Customer Reviews
Jacobs is the star of the show, he does many splendid things and some rather weird ones, but: 1.he is never boring, 2.he knows what he is doing and why, and...3.he does it very well.
Christopher Hogwood on the rival DECCA recording is quite simply no competition, he is bland, unimaginative and boring. Pity that DECCA didn't use Christophe Roussett instead.
Jacob's cast is generally excellent but DECCA has 4 trump cards: Luba Orgonasova, Bernarda Fink, Gerald Finley and Cecilia Bartoli (of course). For sheer voice quality they are better than Jacobs' singers, but Jacobs sees that his cast make an even more vivid impression. More problematic in both recordings is the title role. Rinaldo is a bravura role, and demands a considerable voice. In a perfect world a young Marilyn Horne would have been ideal. David Daniels certainly has a lovely voice, but it's insufficient for this kind of roles, a coloratura mezzo is a much wiser solution. Vivica Genaux should have been ideal, but her voice seems too high for the role, more contralto generosity would had been appreciated in "Cara sposa". All in all I would still prefer Carolyn Watkinson in the old Malgoire recording (but the orchestral playing in that set leaves something to be desired), but if the choice is between Daniels and Geneaux, I would opt for her.
The fabulous Freiburger Barockorchester quite outclasses Hogwood's band, their playing is nothing short of spectacular.
Jacobs makes Rinaldo a very theatrical experience on audio, it is very enjoyable and I don't think we will get another one in decades.
Rene Jacobs is one of my favorite conductors of Baroque music. His passion for the music he performs is never in doubt and this always makes his recordings rather special, as does his experimenting with the scores which always adds to the music's flavour. Those were the qualities I expected to find in this set and I found them in abundance - Jacob's conducting is certainly a great asset of this new "Rinaldo".Read more ›
Handels' music here is full of surprises, in terms of the sequence of arias presented here. Colorful orchestration, interesting vocal melodies and turns of phrase, plenty of room for both technical and expressive virtuoso singing, all combine into a springboard for conductor Jacobs and the Frieburg Baroque Orchestra to make the music become personal and really become something more than what's written on the page.
Immediately recognizable is the sound of Jacob's orchestra: it's crisp but never metallic, intense and full of emotion (compare to the sounds of the strings on recordings by Manze of other Handel works), and lets Handel's voicings, harmonies, orchestrations, etc. really shine through. I'm not a music theorist, but Jacobs alllows anyone to hear what Handel is doing within the orchestral parts, and not just through them i.e. why he voices the strings and/or winds one way versus another at different points in the piece. Jacobs also allows the musicians considerable improvistory freedom: there's too many to mention, but a good example is the 4(!) harpsichord solos in Armida's showy aria "Vo Far a Guerra." These and other ad-lib parts show off the players' chops in an effort to make the music sound alive and not like a museum piece that is being dusted off for historical interest.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This CD recording was done in around 2002, that is more than a full decade ago. Rene Jacobs did a splendid job by the standards of that period in providing a more theatrical... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Abert
I have owned and listened to this set of Rene Jacobs' 2002 'Rinaldo' for a decade.
I never gave it a review, for am quite SURE that some how, there will be a version to... Read more
What a joy to hear such a beautiful work performed so magnificently well!
Thank you Mr. Jacobs and company for a job well done.
I am a great admirerer of Vivica Génaux's voice and so is René Jacobs. I think she is one of the most pleasant sounding mezzosopranos - pleasant in all registers. Read morePublished on January 19, 2010 by S. Fiebig
Handel is a master of exquisite exuberance, and Rene Jacobs brings it out marvellously. Jacobs takes the desired effect--enchantment--as his starting point and works back from... Read morePublished on February 2, 2008 by MK
Approaching Handel opera as a harsh critic (especially of recordings) I was stunned at the dramatic energy that comes across in this recording. Read morePublished on January 3, 2007 by MattKiwi
Rene Jacobs is a Genius!
This is a work of art and all the singers are amazing!!!!
This is a superb work I would recommend to everybody!!!
Both recent recordings of this opera are excellent, although I would recommend this one if you had to choose. Read morePublished on February 18, 2005 by Christian V. Pampinella
A friend of mine has Hogwood's (DECCA) version of "Rinaldo", and it was through that recording that I came to know and enjoy this interesting opera. Read morePublished on June 20, 2004 by Julio Castro Karg