Joyce Di Donato and Maite Beaumont are outstanding as the devoted couple tormented by Tiridate’s abuse of power. Their flexible and agile voices are ideally displayed in the opening scenes of Act 2 – Beaumont’s sublime ‘Quando mai’ followed by Di Donato’s powerful ‘Ombra cara’. Patrizia Ciofi is suited to the moods of the Tiridate’s long-suffering wife. Dominique Labelle is the most rounded and ideally equipped Handel soprano in the cast: the music effortlessly trips off her tongue in ‘Mirerò quel vago volto’… Alan Curtis directs with superb pace and judgement. He is a successful advocate for Handel’s first version of Radamisto, although in Act 3 he uses two pieces from the second version for dramatic reasons. I wonder how Polissena’s original climactic aria ‘Sposo ingrato’ might sound instead of the exclamatory ‘Barbiro, partirò’, but I cannot fault Curtis’s decision to opt for the more dynamic later aria. Il Complesso Barocco play neatly and sympathetically support the singers. The orchestra avoids forcing rhetorical effects too much but I wish it had mined the textural richness in Handel’s score a little deeper. However, this enjoyable performance lacks nothing essential in theatrical impact and musical drive. (David Vickers, Gramophone)
Alan Curtis, lauded by Opera as one of our finest conductors of Baroque opera, illumines Handel s masterpiece, Alcina, by casting, as heroine, the brilliant Joyce DiDonato. Since Alcina is historically dared by virtuosic sopranos like Sutherland and Battle, this innovative recording with a mezzo is a must-have not just for Alcina freaks but all who adore sensational vocalism. As Handel did in his time, Curtis arrays our era s finest Baroque singers such as Maite Beaumont and Karina Gauvin in supporting roles around his star. With this electrifying Alcina, first ever studio recording of the rarely heard Ezio and Rolando Villazón s new album, Handel Year 2009 is being exceptionally well feted by Deutsche Grammophon.
" Un million de Hongrois vont mourir, Auschwitz est prêt à les recevoir. Mais si vous les prévenez maintenant ils se révolteront. Ils n'iront pas dans les fours. Votre tour viendra aussi. Aujourd'hui c'est celui des Hongrois. Il faut les avertir le plus vite possible. " Voici le récit effrayant d'un homme qui a passé près de deux ans dans le camp d'extermination d'Auschwitz. Le 14 avril 1944, Rudolf Vrba et son ami Fred Wetzler parviennent à s'enfuir, et le 25 avril ils remettent leur " Rapport sur les camps de concentration d'Auschwitz, Birkenau et Maïdanek "…
Alan Curtis has done more than most to prove that many of Handel's 42 operas are first-rate music dramas – his Admeto, from 1979 (see page 465), was one of the first complete recordings of a Handel opera to feature period instruments and all voices at correct pitch without transpositions – but it is surprising to note that this is his first recording of an undisputed popular masterpiece. Rodelinda, first performed in February 1725, is a stunning work dominated by a title-heroine who remains devoted to her supposedly dead husband Bertarido and scorns the advances of his usurper Grimoaldo. The potency of Handel's score was enhanced by the complexity of the villain, whose lust-driven cruelty gradually crumbles into a desire to abdicate in order to find spiritual peace. The scene in which the penitent tyrant's life is saved from assassination by the fugitive Bertarido is among Handel's greatest dramatic moments. (Gramophone Classical Music Guide)
One of Handel’s rarer operas, Arminio, set at the time of the Roman Empire, was first performed in 1737. “On the evidence of this very fine recording,” said Gramophone when this performance first appeared, “it can stand among the best of the Handel operas, full of beautiful and imaginative things.” Conducting a cast led by the virtuosic Vivica Genaux in the title role – composed for the castrato Domenico Annibali – is the renowned Handel specialist Alan Curtis.