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Handel: Rinaldo [Import, Box set]

George Frideric Handel , Rene Jacobs , Freibruger Baroqueorchester , Vivica Genaux , Miah Persson , Lawrence Zazzo , Inga Kalna , James Rutherford , Christophe Dumaux , Dominique Visse Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Vivica Genaux, Miah Persson, Lawrence Zazzo, Inga Kalna, James Rutherford, et al.
  • Orchestra: Freibruger Baroqueorchester
  • Conductor: Rene Jacobs
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (May 13, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Import, 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: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • ASIN: B00008N6IW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,061 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Ouverture
2. Recitativo & Aria: Delle Nostre Fatiche: Sovra Balze Scoscese
3. Recitativo: Signor, Gia Dal Tuo Senno
4. Aria: Combatti Da Forte
5. Recitativo & Aria: Questi Saggi Consigli: Qgn'indugio
6. Chiamata/Recitativo: Signor, Che Delle Stelle: Sulla Ruota Di Fortuna
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Recitativo: Ch'insolito Stupore
2. Aria: Cor Ingrato
3. Recitativo: Io All'ora Impugno Il Brando
4. Aria: Col Valor
5. Recitativo & Aria: Di Speranza Un Bel Raggio Venti, Turbini
6. Aria: Siam Prossimi Al Porto
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Recitativo: Quivi Par Che Rubelle
2. Sinfonia
3. Recitativo & Aria E Recitativo: Qui Vomita Cocito Andate, O Forti
4. Preludio
5. Aria: Sorge Nel Petto
6. Recitativo: Al Trionfo S'affretti E' Un Incendio
See all 18 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

The relatively recent recording of Rinaldo on Decca led by Christopher Hogwood and starring Cecilia Bartoli and David Daniels is so good you'd think another wouldn't be necessary. But along comes this one, thrillingly led by René Jacobs, with a spectacular cast of Handelians, and now it's somewhat hard to choose. Jacobs presents a vivid, exciting, very theatrical performance which leaps from the speakers. His Armida, Inga Kalna is a remarkable singer, with plenty of bite and embellished flights into the stratosphere; Viveca Genaux makes a fine hero, singing with beautiful tone, and, alternately, tenderness and heroism; Miah Persson is a lovely Almirena; James Rutherford excites as Argante; and the rest of the cast is top-notch. The Baroque orchestra pounces on the music's more dramatic moments with vigor but can spin out enchanting melodies when required. If you can't own both, stick with this one: It will make you understand just how exciting Handel opera can be. --Robert Levine

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this one July 1, 2003
Format:Audio CD
It is indeed a luxury to have 3 decent recordings of Rinaldo on period instruments when so many of Handel's operas are still to be recorded, but if the name of René Jacobs appears on the last one, well, that's as good a reason to buy it as you are going to get.
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.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inga Kalna et al. May 13, 2003
Format:Audio CD
There is always room for a new recording of any opera and if not for the crisis in music industry, we would be still getting a couple of new Figaros, Traviatas, Aidas etc. per year. Handel, however, is not Mozart or Verdi (in terms of popularity) and it takes a particularly huge dose of courage in this time of crisis to do what Harmonia Mundi did by releasing this new "Rinaldo" only two years after a successful recording under Christopher Hogwood appeared on the market. This is exactly what we expect of HM - courage in undertaking musical projects, regardless their 'bankability' and the highest standards of execution (also applied to the packaging) that put "Universal" to shame. I was eagerly looking forward to this new set, hoping that it would help me discover the beauty of an opera I wasn't able to appreciate in Hogwood's recording. It had its merits, to be sure, but the limp and antiheroic David Daniels made it impossible to listen to, at least for me. Bartoli was a great Almirena, but - with her partner so effeminate - she sounded too heroic, almost like "Freedom Guiding the People" in the famous painting by Delacroix. Well, that's at least what I thought before I heard the present recording.
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".
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply an amazing performance, top to bottom November 20, 2003
By Andrew
Format:Audio CD
This recording shows exactly what Handel and Baroque Opera in general are able to do, when handled by the right conductor/singers/musicians. This music is never boring, never "reserved, emotionally cool, etc." or any other adjectives sometimes used to describe (bad) performances from the genre. It's more music than drama, YES, but that's to be expected from this period, and with music and an approach this good, who needs "dramatic cohesion" anyway?
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice work, but begins to show its age, too.
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 more
Published 1 month ago by Abert
4.0 out of 5 stars Not surpassed? Not so on recording.
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
Published 1 month ago by A. F. S. Mui
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely gorgeous!
What a joy to hear such a beautiful work performed so magnificently well!

Thank you Mr. Jacobs and company for a job well done.

Benjamin Munoz
Published 14 months ago by Benjamin Munoz
5.0 out of 5 stars Reference recording
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 more
Published on January 19, 2010 by S. Fiebig
5.0 out of 5 stars Promiscuously exuberant
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 more
Published on February 2, 2008 by MK
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST yet
Approaching Handel opera as a harsh critic (especially of recordings) I was stunned at the dramatic energy that comes across in this recording. Read more
Published on January 3, 2007 by MattKiwi
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Amazing
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!!!
Published on August 20, 2005 by Emiliano Loconsolo
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Both recent recordings of this opera are excellent, although I would recommend this one if you had to choose. Read more
Published on February 18, 2005 by Christian V. Pampinella
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but......
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 more
Published on June 20, 2004 by Julio Castro Karg
5.0 out of 5 stars Jacobs does it again!
I purchased this recording because of one reason - it bares the name "Rene Jacobs." He has simply become my most trusted name in all of opera. Read more
Published on May 30, 2004 by gellio
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