Handel’s sparkling opera Partenope reunites countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and soprano Karina Gauvin, who both made such an impact in the recording of Steffani’s rediscovered Niobe – released by Erato in early 2015 and welcomed by Gramophone as “a landmark event”. Every moment of Partenope’s comedy, romance and drama is captured by the dynamic conductor Riccardo Minasi and his ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro.
The world premiere recording of an opera by a Neapolitan master who is fast gaining an exceptional modern reputation. Setting a libretto by Metastasio, Leonardo Vinci's opera was unveiled in Rome in 1728 with an all-male cast (women having been banned from the stage by the Pope). Max Emanuel Cencic gathers around him a superb cast led by Riccardo Minaci.
Caffarelli, castrato assoluto, was a famed rival to the more famous Farinelli. Born Gaetano Majorano in Bitonto in 1710 - he was to die in Naples in 1783 - he studied with his rival’s teacher, Nicola Porpora. He travelled across Europe, singing in the most prestigious opera houses, earning huge amounts and behaving exceptionally badly. His one season in London in 1737-38 singing for Handel was, however, a resounding failure and it’s to the repertoire of the Naples School that this disc turns in order to present arias most associated with this most touchy, querulous and downright rude castrato of the eighteenth-century.
– Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International.
It's hard to know where to start in enumerating the virtues of this recording of Handel's opera Tamerlano, HWV 18, composed in 1724 and revised and revived in 1731 (the latter version is heard here). Start with the opera itself, which might be called the most adult of Handel's operas and is far from being as well known as it should be. Loosely based on a play by Christopher Marlowe, the opera tells the story of the Mongol king Tamerlane, his conquest of part of the Ottoman empire, and the love triangles that resulted. It's full of themes of sadism and psychological torture, expertly captured in the music.
This is the 51st title in the Vivaldi Edition and the 6th volume, out of approximately 12, of the series dedicated to the violin concertos whose manuscripts are held in the National Library of Turin. Following two successful volumes of concertos for solo violin and orchestra recorded separately in the Vivaldi Edition, virtuosos Riccardo Minasi and Dmitry Sinkovsky now join forces to record pyrotechnic concertos for two violins and orchestra. This series of 6 concertos is an overview of the complete art of Vivaldi as a composer and violinist: large of musical scale, invention, expression, energy, and of course, virtuosity.