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Haydn - Il ritorno di Tobia Box set

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, November 20, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Although Haydn' place in the history of the oratorio has been secured by his great vocal masterpieces The Creation and The Seasons , his first oratorio, Il ritorno di Tobia , is among the better-kept secrets of music history. The Italian libretto deals w

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. Sinfonia
  2. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. No. 3a. Recitativo. Deh modera il dolor
  3. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. No. 3b. Aria. Ah tu m'ascolta
  4. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. No. 4a. Recitativo. Non è quello Azaria
  5. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. No. 4b. Aria. Anna, m'ascolta!
  6. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. No. 5a. Recitativo. Che disse?
  7. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. No. 5b. Aria. Ah gran Dio
  8. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. No. 5c. Coro. Ah gran Dio!

Disc: 2

  1. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. No. 6a. Recitativo. Sara, mia dolce sposa
  2. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. No. 6b. Aria. Quando mi dona un cenno
  3. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. No. 7a. Recitativo. Somme grazie ti rendo
  4. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. No. 7b. Aria. Del caro sposo
  5. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. No. 8. Recitativo. Rivelarti a Dio piacque
  6. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 1. No. 9. Coro. Odi le nostre voci
  7. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 10b. Aria. Come se a voi parlasse
  8. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 11a. Recitativo. Ad Azaria nel volto
  9. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 11b. Aria. Non parmi esser fra gl'uomini

Disc: 3

  1. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 12a. Recitativo. Che soave parlar!
  2. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 12b. Aria. Quel felice nocchier
  3. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 13a. Recitativo. Giusta brama l'affretta
  4. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 13b. Aria. Come in sogno un stuol m'apparve
  5. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 13c. Coro. Svanisce in un momento
  6. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 14a. Recitativo. Ah dove corri, oh padre?
  7. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 14b. Aria. Invan lo chiedi, amico
  8. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 15a. Recitativo. Che fulmine improvviso!
  9. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 15b. Duetto. Dunque, oh Dio
  10. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 16. Recitativo. Qui di morir si parla
  11. Il Ritorno di Tobia, oratorio for 4 soloists, chorus & orchestra, H. 21/1: Part 2. No. 17. Coro. Io non oso alzar


Product Details

  • Performer: Roberta Invernizzi, Sophie Karthäuser, Ann Hallenberg, Anders J. Dahlin, Nikolay Borchev, et al.
  • Orchestra: Capella Augustina
  • Conductor: Andreas Spering
  • Composer: Joseph Haydn
  • Audio CD (November 20, 2007)
  • 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: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000WPJ6DA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,830 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By John Cragg on February 11, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The format of this oratorio is not promising -- largely a string of alternating recitatives and arias rather in the form of a classic opera seria -- on a biblical theme about which it is difficult to generate any real excitement. These negatives -- which probably account for the lack of performances of this work -- are more than offset by the genius of Haydn. Though written roughly a quarter of a century before his well known and justly celebrated oratorios and the profoundly lovely and moving final masses, this is the same genius at work and he is virtually unsurpassed in this sort of vocal writing. The work is given a first-rate performance here. Though the principals are not great stars -- at least not yet, and they are very young -- they all sing with breathtaking loveliness, even in the recitatives. The orchestra and chorus, under the always very competent and sometimes inspired conducting of Andreas Spering, complete the overall stunning effect that this work has. Naxos has produced a winner here and stolen a march on their competitors in producing a first class recording of a major work which others would find very difficult to match. It's a pity that the libretto is not translated into English, but the booklet compensates to some extent by giving short resumes of the principals, the orchestra and the chorus. All together an outstanding recording at a very good price
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I'm not very fond of Haydn's vocal music. I've always found it uninteresting, and even boring. But what we have here is an oratorio in which baroque tradition shines in vocal numbers, even if it's a classical composer in line and orchestration. Some of the music reminds me of Mozart's vividness in writing for the voice.
The cast is strong, except for the tenor, the Tobia, whom I liked the least. He can sing the role to the end but pushes too much to my taste sometimes. I've heard an old recording with Rolfe-Johnson and can only complain of this flaw in this recording.
The rest of the cast is very good near perfection, especially Hallenberg and Invernizzi.
Also, this time Naxos had the decency to include at least the libretto in italian. To me it is not a problem, for I can follow it. But I suspect that for English native speakers it can be tough.
Anyway, I would not let it escape. It's well worth the price. Highly recommended.
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Not only Baroque, but Italian Baroque! This oratorio in the Italian language, except for a certain instrumental expansiveness, sounds a lot more like something by Antonio Caldara or Antonio Vivaldi than the Haydn of The Creation or The Seasons. And frankly, it sounds more like an opera seria than any of Haydn's 'designated' operas. I'm surprised it hasn't been staged as such, by Bill Christie for instance, somewhere in Europe. Possibly I'm an incurable baroque-nik at heart, but I find the music of "Il Ritorno de Tobia" much more exciting to listen to than the stuffy grandeur of Haydn's more famous later oratorios.

"The Return of Tobias" tells part of the story of Tobit, a blind man whose sight is eventually restored by a miracle, and his stalwart son Tobias, who is aided by the archangel Raphael. The story comes from the apocryphal Book of Tobit, included in the Catholic Bible of Haydn's Austrian patrons, the Esterhazys. It would be wise to acquaint yourself with the story before hearing this 3-CD recording, since the 'libretto' is provided only in Italian. DO NOT, however, decide to skip this performance merely because of the lack of an English translation; it's the music that matters, the brilliantly florid and emotive arias, the powerful choruses, as robust as any of Handel's, and the fully symphonic orchestral score. "Il Ritorno" is music on a grand scale, even for Vienna; at least 150 singers and instrumentalists were included in the first performance in 1775. The orchestra of Capella Augustina is not nearly so huge -- thank goodness, in terms of recording technology! - nor is the chorus of the VokalEnsemble Koln.

Both orchestra and chorus perform superbly, but it's the soloists that make this recording spectacular.
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Seldom performed today, this composition -- and this recording in particular -- is worth hearing.
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