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Handel: Tamerlano [Box set]

Georg Friedrich Handel , George Petrou , Orchestra of Patras , Nicholas Spanos , Mata Katsuli Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Handel: Tamerlano + Handel: Faramondo + Handel: Arianna in Creta, HWV 32
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Product Details

  • Performer: Nicholas Spanos, Mata Katsuli
  • Orchestra: Orchestra of Patras
  • Conductor: George Petrou
  • Composer: Georg Friedrich Handel
  • Audio CD (October 23, 2007)
  • 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: Mdg
  • ASIN: B000TXY2CA
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,492 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Medley: Ouverture/Allegro
2. Medley: Adagio/Menuet
3. Sinfonia
4. Recitativo
5. Sinfonia
6. Recitativo: Prence, Lo So
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Recitativo: Amico, Tengo Un Testimon Fedele
2. Aria: Bella Gara Che Faranno
3. Recitativo: Qui L'infedel! Cogliamo
4. Aria: Non E Piu Tempo, No
5. Accompagnato: Ah No! Dove Trascorri, Idolo Mio?
6. Aria: Cerco In Vano Di Placare
See all 25 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Recitativo: Figlia, Siam Rei, Io Di Schernito Sdegno
2. Aria: Cor Di Padre, E Cor D'amante
3. Recitativo: Andronico, Il Mio Amore
4. Aria: A Dispetto
5. Recitativo: Figlia, Con Atto Vil Tutta Perdesti
6. Duetto: Vivo In Te Mio Caro Bene
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Tragic Opera in a First-Rate Performance November 1, 2007
In 1724-25, Handel produced a trio of operatic masterpieces: GIULIO CESARE IN EGITTO, TAMERLANO and RODELINDA, one of the highest peaks in his long theater career. TAMERLANO differs from the other two in that the obligatory "happy ending" is darkened by the suicide of a major character (the Turkish Emperor Bajazet); indeed, the whole piece, which deals with the psychological war between Bajazet and the Tartar Emperor Tamerlane, has a strikingly claustrophobic atmosphere, exemplified by the fact that, unusually for a Handel opera, every scene takes place indoors. Two other features are the frequent use of string-accompanied recitative at moments of high emotional intensity, all superb, and the fact that a major role (Bajazet) was composed for a tenor. Bajazet's death scene, passing flexibly from "dry" to accompanied recitative to arioso, is one of the most emotionally wrenching stretches in all of Handel's output. But the whole score sustains the highest level of inspiration, even more so than its companion operas. It's a beautiful and moving work.
The recording history of TAMERLANO is paradoxical: every one of the 4 previous recordings (beginning with John Moriarty's landmark 1970 version, and proceeding to "period" versions by Malgoire, Gardiner and Pinnck) has its merits and is worth hearing, but all of them fiddle with the musical text, generally by restoring material (some of it admittedly beautiful) that Handel cut before the 1724 premiere, sometimes by reverting to a discarded scheme for the end of Act II/start of Act III, and always making cuts in the lengthy "dry" recitatives (often following Handel's later abridgements).
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Choice for Tamerlano February 1, 2008
Tamerlano is undeniably one of Handel's great dramatic achievements, an opera I respect very much but for which I harbor little affection. The plot is unrelievedly gloomy - think of Verdi's La Forza del Destino without the local color scenes, Preziosilla or Fra Melitone. The tension between the Tartar Tamerlano and the vanquished Sultan Bajazet is the point of the work, and Handel draws extraordinary portraits of these two powerful characters. Asterias, Bajazet's faithful daughter, is another great creation who goes from semi-comprehension of the situation to would be agent of revenge. Handel's use of traditional da capo aria, accompagnato, and secco recitative pushes the limits of form to great effect. Somehow, though, the "happy ending" after Bajazet's suicide doesn't strike me as terribly effective. There is also a thoroughly unsympathetic character in Irene - an unfeeling woman who sees the action only in the context of how it affects her.

I'm familiar with this recording and the rival period efforts of Gardiner, Malgloire, and Pinnock. I think the MDG under consideration makes the best case for the work. Petrou's conducting creates a very dramatic presentation and the singers are mostly excellent. Falsettist Nicholas Spanos has an occasional odd moment when what I take to be his natural baritone range almost pops out. It does add dramatic emphasis. Christoyannis baritone has a strong upward extension and he does very well indeed with the role, often taken by a tenor. Also outstanding is Mary Ellen Nesi as the Greek general Andronico. The rest of the cast also sings very well. The period instrument orchestra plays well and the recording is clean and well balanced. The recording also restores Handel's 1724 text.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Dramatic Work May 20, 2009
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An expert on Handel I am NOT. I write simply as a passionate lover of opera, particularly opera as great drama that strikes to the heart. Tamerlano does that indeed. I went looking for my first recording of a Handel opera in the wake of first hearing about Placido Domingo's assumption of the role of Bajazet in Tamerlano. This recording stood out to me, and now, many hearings later, I am confident of my choice. I hope to hear others someday but this will always be my first love, I'm sure!

Surely this is a great recording of this great opera. The music is gorgeous, aptly expressing everything from deep, bitter fury to aching sadness. Both magnificent and intimate. I especially like Mary-Ellen Nessi as Andronico, her expressive mezzo seems perfect for the unfortunate lover- and the duet (Vivo in te, mio caro bene) with Asteria! Simple, heartfelt, haunting beauty.

But it is the sympathetic Bajazet of Tassis Christoyannis that I find most deeply moving. His voice clearly reveals all the emotions raging in the heart of this proud Sultan, now defeated and trapped between his tender love of his daughter and his pathetic helplessness. My heart can't help but ache with his. I think Christoyannis makes much of this great role. Certainly it is a performance that I count among my most treasured.

Also, I appreciate the loving care that evidently went into the production of this set. There is a fine essay on the origins of the opera and its story plus notes about the differences in this first complete recording of the 1724s version. Then enthusiastic summaries of how they view the main characters. There is info about the artists too, of course. All this in English, French, German.
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