This production was recorded at the Teatro Malibran of La Fenice in Venice in occasion of the celebrations for the 3rd centenary of Galuppi’s birth. This is the first performance in modern times, and a World Premiere recording on DVD. The Orchestra Barocca di Venezia, conducted by baroque expert Andrea Marcon plays on original instruments from the 18th century. Olimpiade, was written for the opening of the carnival season of Milan’s Teatro Ducale on December 26, 1747… (http://www.arkivmusic.com)
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741), nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest") because of his red hair, was an Italian Baroque composer, Catholic priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice. Recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe. Vivaldi is known mainly for composing instrumental concertos, especially for the violin, as well as sacred choral works and over forty operas. His best known work is a series of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons.
Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (15 May 1567 (baptized) – 29 November 1643) was an Italian composer, gambist, singer and Roman Catholic priest.
Monteverdi's work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the transition from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period. He developed two individual styles of composition – the heritage of Renaissance polyphony and the new basso continuo technique of the Baroque. Monteverdi wrote one of the earliest operas, L'Orfeo, an innovative work that is the earliest surviving opera that is still regularly performed. He was recognized as an innovative composer and enjoyed considerable fame in his lifetime.
Mezzo Magdalena Kožená returns with another early music adventure on Archiv Production after her highly acclaimed Vivaldi album: Kožená explores the early Italian Baroque music of Claudio Monteverdi with rewarding results. Inspired by the improvisational nature of much of this music, Kožená reveals yet another aspect of her musical personality with selections from L’incoronazione di Poppea, Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and more.
With Olimpiade the famous poet Metastasio created one of the most popular librettos of the 18th century. It was set to music by over 60 baroque and classical composers including Vivaldi, Caldara, Hasse, Cimarosa and Donizetti. Pergolesi’s composition from 1735 was one of the earliest adaptations…
We owe the rediscovery of Pergolesi's 1735 opera about the Olympics not so much to the build-up to next year's games in London, but to the composer's tercentenary in 2010. It's a long work (four hours), and even by 18th-century standards, its narrative is convoluted. The athlete Magacle is competing – and cheating – in the games to win, on behalf of his friend Licida, the hand of Aristea, which her idiotic father has promised to the victor. Megacle has fallen in love with Aristea himself, however, and things are further complicated by the arrival of Licida's cast-off mistress Argene, and by the revelation that Licida is actually Aristea's long-lost twin brother…
Good as the Concerto Italiano recording of this opera is, for once it's not the best. This older live recording by the Clemencic Consort is truly of Olympian quality, chiefly because of the singers: the incomparable Gerard Lesne as Licida above all, and then Mieke von der Sluis singing just as well as Lesne, and Aris Christoffelis as Aminta. This is an opera featuring some uniquely imaginative duets, sharing among those three singers, whose expressiveness is unmatched. One of the keys to making a CD of a baroque opera enjoyable is the intensity of affect in the long accompanied recitativos, and these singers do exactly that. They sparkle with drama. Let me not slight the masculine voices, either; they rumble and thunder most artfully. And there's a bassoon out there in the orchestra pit who's not too bad, playing one of the craftiest bassoon parts in all of Vivaldi.