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Thread: Handel operas on CD

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Default Handel operas on CD

    I'm recently getting into Handel's operas. They contain some wonderful music. Any favourites and recordings? recommendations?

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    Possibly the best known of Handel's operas is Giulio Cesare and this recording is superlative. The excellent Jennifer Larmore in the title role performs the coloratura with great skill and don't be surprised if you find your jaw dropping at the combination of flexibility and strength in her voice. I only know Schlick from this recording, but she is a sympathetic Cleopatra and then Fink and Rorholm are very good as Cornelia and Sesto respectively. Jacobs can be variable, but he is on stunning form here. There are quite a few recordings of this opera, but this one takes some beating!

    Cesare.jpg

    N.

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    This is a wonderful DVD (and you can get it on CD).
    Cast: Dame Janet Baker, Valerie Masterson, James Bowman, John Tomlinson, Della Jones, et al.
    Sung in English but that does not detract one bit in my opinion. I don't like countertenors but James Bowman does a magnificent job in this.


    Here are a couple samples (my favorite two arias from it):

    Last edited by Fritz Kobus; Jun-27-2019 at 03:16.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    I don't have many complete operas on CD, though I do have quite a few Handel recitals.

    I would however recommend this.



    It's one of Handel's greatest operas, brilliantly cast here.

    His orotorios are often staged these days, and this one is superb and available either on CD or DVD.





    Excellently cast with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson absolutely exceptional.
    Last edited by Tsaraslondon; Jun-27-2019 at 08:30.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    My favourite Handel opera is Ariodante and my favourite recording is this one:

    Ariodante.jpg

    Von Otter is the perfect Handelian and whilst she may not have the nobility and taste of a Janet Baker, she is unmatched in the title role as far as modern recordings are concerned (it will be interesting to see what Di Donato makes of the role in performance). The rest of the cast are all very good too, with Podles a superb villain and Dawson a tender heroine. If you aren't a countertenor fan then this is the recording for you (completely countertenor free). Minkowski conducts with verve and energy and the overall cast are perfect for their roles. Highly recommended.

    N.

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Here is an excellent opera and a very nice performance on DVD:


    I have four on disk (Curtis, Christie, Bonynge, and Leitner) and my favorite of those is:
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    Senior Member Dr. Shatterhand's Avatar
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    Jacobs' Agrippina

    The Fagioli Serse

    The Cencic Arminio

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    I don't have many complete operas on CD, though I do have quite a few Handel recitals.

    I would however recommend this.



    It's one of Handel's greatest operas, brilliantly cast here.

    .
    Yes I have this one. It is absolutely superb and the music sublime

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Conte View Post
    My favourite Handel opera is Ariodante and my favourite recording is this one:

    Ariodante.jpg

    Von Otter is the perfect Handelian and whilst she may not have the nobility and taste of a Janet Baker, she is unmatched in the title role as far as modern recordings are concerned (it will be interesting to see what Di Donato makes of the role in performance). The rest of the cast are all very good too, with Podles a superb villain and Dawson a tender heroine. If you aren't a countertenor fan then this is the recording for you (completely countertenor free). Minkowski conducts with verve and energy and the overall cast are perfect for their roles. Highly recommended.

    N.
    Agreed! I have this. My one reservation is that the conductor tends to drive the music rather hard in places.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    I have recently acquired this:

    alcina.jpg

    Superably sung and conducted. I've been bowled over with just how beautiful this opera is.
    Last edited by DavidA; Jun-30-2019 at 09:50.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    This is superb too

    orlando.jpg

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    And a lesser known one

    imeneo.jpg

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    The best version of Julius Caesar is by general agreement by Jacobs:

    julius.jpg
    Last edited by DavidA; Jun-30-2019 at 09:42.

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    Senior Member Fritz Kobus's Avatar
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    Another fine recording or Ariodante. I saw Joyce Didonato live in a semi-staged Ariodante a couple years ago.
    Last edited by Fritz Kobus; Jun-30-2019 at 14:01.
    "All of Italian opera can be heard in [Bellini's] "Ah! non creda [mirarti]."
    --Renata Scotto in "Scotto, More Than a DIva."

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    I like Jacobs Rinaldo the best. Cesare is amazing, but it's so long. My favorite, thus far, is Arminio with Cencic on Decca.

    I love Baroque opera and to me there is absolutely nothing that comes close to this:

    5099960286956.jpg

    There is absolutely not one single dull moment, the story is great, and the performances are outstanding. In fact, Artaserse is probably in my top 3 of favorite operas, behind Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni.

    Sorry, I'm plugging this work at any opportunity.
    Follow me on Instragam: figaro_under_the_moonlight.

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