Handel: Alcina

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
For a feast of female voices, richly varied and each a sumptuous delight, this recording of Handel's Alcina is hard to beat. The acclaimed 1999 production at the Garnier Opera in Paris was one that cried out to be preserved for posterity: Renée Fleming in the title role may be the primary attraction, but with such singers as Susan Graham, Natalie Dessay, and Kathleen Kuhlmann, this is a stunning ensemble cast, not just a star vehicle. Fleming, Graham, and Dessay were essaying baroque opera for the first time, and although they don't sound like specialists, they clearly relish the music and its opportunities for virtuoso singing and creative ornamentation. All of them ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
For a feast of female voices, richly varied and each a sumptuous delight, this recording of Handel's Alcina is hard to beat. The acclaimed 1999 production at the Garnier Opera in Paris was one that cried out to be preserved for posterity: Renée Fleming in the title role may be the primary attraction, but with such singers as Susan Graham, Natalie Dessay, and Kathleen Kuhlmann, this is a stunning ensemble cast, not just a star vehicle. Fleming, Graham, and Dessay were essaying baroque opera for the first time, and although they don't sound like specialists, they clearly relish the music and its opportunities for virtuoso singing and creative ornamentation. All of them deeply identify with their characters, and their warmth, personality, and dazzling vocal technique make this an Alcina that transcends period style to simply become great opera. The singers are expertly guided by William Christie, who elicits a sparkling performance from the incomparable Les Arts Florissants. The bulk of ALCINA is made up of extended solo arias, typical of baroque opera. Essentially, it's a series of vocal showpieces, and the highlights are many. Fleming fans take note: There's a whole album's worth of her solo singing here. As the sorceress whose magic won't buy her love, her arias range from the quiet devastation of "Sì, son quella!" to the bitterness of "Ma quando tornerai." In the mezzo-soprano "trouser" role originally composed for a castrato of Ruggiero, Graham shines in the acrobatics of "Sta nell'Ircana" as well as the more subdued lyricism of "Di te mi rido." Dessay's sparkling coloratura and Kuhlmann's agile alto expand the opera's vocal and emotional range with panache in their superbly executed arias. The live recording conveys a realistic sense of staging and action, including the ecstastic audience response that greets the end of each act.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/25/2000
  • Label: Erato
  • UPC: 685738023325
  • Catalog Number: 80233
  • Sales rank: 226,795

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–66 Alcina, opera, HWV 34 - George Frideric Handel & William Christie (190:20)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Renée Fleming Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Most Beautiful Opera I Own

    After attending Alcina at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago in October of 1999, I had a new favorite opera. This is one of the most beautiful and emotional operas that I've ever experienced. After receiving the CD set (which I wanted last year, but patiently waited for until April of this year), I put in all three CD's and listened to the opera in its entirety. This recording lives up to the beauty of the live performance. The arias are so peaceful and magical. I highly recommended purchasing this CD. Sit back and lose yourself in the music. It's wonderful.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews