Handel - Rodelinda / Kermes, Mijanovic, Davislim, Lemieux, Il Complesso Barocco, Curtis Box set
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Top Customer Reviews
The singing is stylish, appropriately ornamented for the most part, and the singers can actually sing the notes written unlike some recent and not so recent Handel opera performance or recordings. The orchestral playing is superb in places and sounds noticeably beefier than on one or two recent Complesso recordings. The direction is involved without becoming too intrusive. In comparison to the Kraemer on Virgin or the Schneider on DHM, this is the preferable recording, though the first two had some nice touches and some stylish singing in slightly incomplete versions.
The whole recording is based on the version of Rodelinda that Handel might have recognised from the revival of late 1725, including a re-written aria (sono i colpi della sorte) and several additions (including vivi tiranno, and a duet for Bertarido and Rodelinda that later flows into an abbreviated coro), claiming to be the first complete recording of the opera so far. Andrew Jones, who re-edited the opera for the HHA edition writes some informative notes and writer Donna Leon, a Curtis favourite, gives a good synopsis of the action.
All the ingredients are there for another prize-winning recording, so, what is missing ? Rodelinda is probably the Handel opera I know best having sung Bertarido and Unolfo arias in amateur competitions, so any cavelling here is perhaps due to that, but for some reason the dramatic elements of the story and music don't really ring true.Read more ›
While everyone knows Giulio Cesare, Alcina, Ariodante, Serse, Rinaldo at least by isolated arias, Rodelinda has not benefited from as many performances and certainly not as many recordings. The opera is a beauty, abounding in elegant arias and ensembles and some of the most beautiful orchestral writing of all the Handel operas. The opera can be performed with the extensive use of countertenors (much like Giulio Cesare) and for this listener that approach has always been preferable. But this new recording may just alter everyone's opinion of casting!
Homogeneously excellent, the cast includes Simone Kermes (a clear toned, radiant soprano) in the title role, Marijana Mijanovic as Bertarido, brilliant tenor Steve Davislim as Grimoaldo, and Marie-Lemieux, Vito Priante, and Sonia Prina. There have been excerpts from Rodelinda recorded by the big names in opera, but as for ensemble effect and the true baroque style this cast is seamless.
Of course much of the success of any Handel opera performance lies in the hands of the conductor and here Alan Curtis conducts Il Complesso Barocco with ravishing embellishments and pure straight tone that underscores the drama. The sound of the recording is top notch. For those opera lovers waiting for a near perfect RODELINDA look no further! Highly recommended. Grady Harp, June 05
This new Rodelinda grows on me every time I listen to it.
What a great opera it is! And what a shame that it hasn't attracted more attention on CD since the Handel revival.
You need three great singers to start with: of course Rodelinda, sung here by Simone Kermes who has a very beautiful voice indeed, a lot of dramatic involvement and she gives great ornamentation in the arias. She clearly wins over the uninvolved Sophie Daneman in the boring Nicholas Kraemer recording on Virgin, but Anna Caterina Antonacci is still my definitive Rodelinda.
It's also good to have mezzosopranos and contraltos in stead of contratenors. Marijana Mijanovic is a total success as Bertarido. From her very first note, you recognize that unique voice I first heard in Minkowski's Giulio Cesare. Compared to Daniel Taylor's non-existant interpretation and even to the very good Andreas Scholl on Christie, Mijanovic wins on all fronts. From extremely soft notes to great dramatic outbursts, I'm on the edge of my seat every time she sings.
On top of that, we have the best Grimoaldo you can imagine. I had never heard of Steve Davislim, but now it is a name to remember. What a great tenor role this is. No less than six arias with 'Pastorello d'un povero armento', preceeded by a great accompagnato, as climax of the third act. Tenor roles in Handel operas seem underestimated to me.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Coming to this performance after four other recordings, a video, and one live production I can understand the mixed reactions it has drawn from reviewers. Read morePublished 23 months ago by David Maclaine
Alan Curtis said in an interview some years back that he had not heard a satisfactory recording of Rodelinda, so he was going to record one. Read morePublished on June 26, 2014 by Harry Sillen
As a relatively new enthusiast of opera I am slow to grasp the full majesty, beauty and drama of a masterpiece. I am an even newer enthusiast of baroque opera and Handel. Read morePublished on August 22, 2013 by Myron C. Mccormick
Handel - Rodelinda / Kermes, Mijanovic, Davislim, Lemieux, Il Complesso Barocco, Curtis is recording under the direction of Alan Curtis who leads the Il Complesso Barocco on this... Read morePublished on May 21, 2010 by Bjorn Viberg
This doesn't catch fire -- perhaps it is better than the current competition, but against the great Handel opera recordings which exist in multiple fine renditions (Ariodante, for... Read morePublished on May 23, 2006 by Scoglio
Received the CDs and found a problem on the third CD and returned the set. My replacement came within two days. Read morePublished on October 8, 2005 by Elizebeth A. Spann
The field is pretty sparse when it comes to recordings of Handels great Rodelinda. On LP we had a dramatic performance with Stich-Randall and Forrester under Priestman but it was... Read morePublished on September 29, 2005 by J. Kauffman
This new CD is obviously thoroughly researched, and the addition of Handel's alternative arias is a real bonus. Read morePublished on September 24, 2005 by elsiejohn