Handel: Fernando

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
To most of the living, "Fernando" is a song by ABBA that gets played way too much on the radio. To even many dedicated Handelians, admittedly a much smaller group than "the living," the title "Fernando" as applied to a Handel opera will give pause -- conventional wisdom says he didn't write an opera by that name. Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco beg to differ; careful examination of the manuscript of Handel's Sosarme reveals that the original title was indeed "Fernando" and liberal cuts were made to eliminate recitative relating to Handel's first idea. The action was moved from Portugal to Media, and the character names were all changed. "Fernando/Sosarme" was ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
To most of the living, "Fernando" is a song by ABBA that gets played way too much on the radio. To even many dedicated Handelians, admittedly a much smaller group than "the living," the title "Fernando" as applied to a Handel opera will give pause -- conventional wisdom says he didn't write an opera by that name. Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco beg to differ; careful examination of the manuscript of Handel's Sosarme reveals that the original title was indeed "Fernando" and liberal cuts were made to eliminate recitative relating to Handel's first idea. The action was moved from Portugal to Media, and the character names were all changed. "Fernando/Sosarme" was composed very quickly and the first production mounted just 13 days after the manuscript was completed; the first two acts were written out in the "Fernando" stage of the project, whereas the third was composed as "Sosarme." This realization by Alan Curtis restores the cut material in the first two acts and presumably changes all of the character names in the third to complement the first two. One might feel such a project is a bit disingenuous, as Handel had reason to make the changes even if we don't know now just why, but perhaps in response Curtis might say "So sue me!"

Seriously, this Virgin Classics release is a boon to Handelians, as Sosarme has never had a major league recording. Conductor Johannes Somary recorded it back in the 1990s for Newport Classic in a version that is long gone, and there is an ancient broadcast of the work featuring Alfred Deller from 1954 floating around on various labels -- not much for a Handelian to sink his or her teeth into. Virgin Classics' Fernando is a top quality recording and performance, with bass Antonio Abete as Altomaro, the "Iago" of this turbulent story about a king's battle against his sons, being a standout among the front line singers. Filippo Adami as Dionisio, the king under siege, seems the weakest link, but his part was the first music that Handel ever wrote for a tenor and the writing up high is a little ungracious. If one is a fan of Handel's operas, than it is hard to imagine what would keep him or her from obtaining Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco's Fernando.
Gramophone - David Vickers
Full of top-drawer music.... Curtis's pacing and shaping of Handel's music is consistently subtle, astutely rhetorical and firmly connected to the libretto text.... One of Curtis's most consistent and pleasing Handel recordings.
Time Out New York - David Shengold
This set's vocal glory can be found in its countertenors. The title role benefits from the handsome, confident vocalism of Philadelphia-born Lawrence Zazzo.... Handel completists will certainly want this estimable set.
Philadelphia Inquirer - David Patrick Stearns
1/2 Though Handel sometimes spends his first acts revving his engines, this one is consistently excellent and rarely routine.
Dallas Morning News - Lawson Taitte
[Grade: B+] Alan Curtis, one of our best Handel conductors, leads an orchestral performance that's vivid and airy.... Whether you call it Sosarme or Fernando, this is the best recording to date.
The Guardian - Andrew Clements
Some of the numbers are top-drawer.
Daily Telegraph - Richard Wigmore
Alan Curtis directs his expert orchestra with his usual verve and Handelian understanding.

This set's vocal glory can be found in its countertenors. The title role benefits from the handsome, confident vocalism of Philadelphia-born Lawrence Zazzo.... Handel completists will certainly want this estimable set.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/6/2007
  • Label: Emi Classics
  • UPC: 094636548326
  • Catalog Number: 65483

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–60 Sosarme, re di Media, opera, HWV 30 - Alan Curtis & George Frideric Handel (148:58)
    Composed byGeorge Frideric Handel
    Conducted byAlan Curtis
    Performed byAlan Curtis, Antonio Abete, Veronica Cangemi, Max Emanuel Cencic, Il Complesso Barocco, Lawrence Zazzo, Marianna Pizzolato, Filippo Adami, Neal Banerjee
    1. 1Ouverture. Largo
    2. 2Ouverture. Allegro
    3. 3Ouverture. Allegro
    4. 4Act 1. Scene 1. Recitativo. Di mio padre al furore
    5. 5Act 1. Scene 1. Recitativo accompagnato. Voi miei fidi compagni
    6. 6Act 1. Scene 1. Coro militare. Alla strage, alla morte, alla vittoria!
    7. 7Act 1. Scene 2. Recitativo. Madre e regina
    8. 8Act 1. Scene 2. Recitativo accompagnato. Rasserena, Isabella
    9. 9Act 1. Scene 2. Aria. Rendi 'l sereno al ciglio
    10. 10Act 1. Scene 3-4. Recitativo. Giusti numi
    11. 11Act 1. Scene 3-4. Aria. Forte inciampo al suo furore
    12. 12Act 1. Scene 5. Recitativo. Sancio, mio prence
    13. 13Act 1. Scene 5. Aria. Fra l'ombre e gli orrori
    14. 14Act 1. Scene 6. Recitativo. Come più de l'usato
    15. 15Act 1. Scene 6. Aria. Sì, sì, minaccia
    16. 16Act 1. Scene 7. Recitativo. Dionisio, sono anch'essi, i re, mortali
    17. 17Act 1. Scene 7. Aria. Il mio valore
    18. 18Act 1. Scene 8. Recitativo. Così dunque cospira
    19. 19Act 1. Scene 8. Aria. La turba adulatrice
    20. 20Act 1. Scene 9-10. Recitativo. Amici, troppo oscuro
    21. 21Act 1. Scene 9-10. Aria. Due patri del core
    22. 22Act 1. Scene 11. Recitativo. O diva Irene
    23. 23Act 1. Scene 11. Aria. Dite 'pace', e fulminate
    24. 24Act 2. Scene 1. Arioso. Padre, germano e sposo
    25. 25Act 2. Scene 2-3. Sinfonia militare
    26. 26Act 2. Scene 2-3. Recitativo. Ma, o dei, ritorna il figlio trionfante!
    27. 27Act 2. Scene 2-3. Duetto. Se m'ascolti
    28. 28Act 2. Scene 4/5. Recitativo. Fu castigo e non dono
    29. 29Act 2. Scene 4/5. Aria. Se discordia ne disciolse
    30. 30Act 2. Scene 6. Recitativo. E così tu disprezzi
    31. 31Act 2. Scene 6. Aria. So ch'il Ciel ben spesso gode
    32. 32Act 2. Scene 7. Recitativo. Quanto più Sancio a sdegno
    33. 33Act 2. Scene 7. Aria. Sento il cor che lieto gode
    34. 34Act 2. Scene 8. Recitativo. Grazie al Cielo
    35. 35Act 2. Scene 8. Duetto. Per le porte del tormento
    36. 36Act 2. Scene 9. Recitativo. S'oggi smorzasti l'ire
    37. 37Act 2. Scene 9. Aria. Alle sfere della gloria
    38. 38Act 2. Scene 10-12. Recitativo. Alfonso amato
    39. 39Act 2. Scene 10-12. Aria. Vado al campo
    40. 40Act 2. Scene 13. Recitativo. Mio sposo, ahi! qual orrore
    41. 41Act 2. Scene 13. Aria. In mille dolci modi
    42. 42Act 2. Scene 14. Recitativo. Parmi che un dolce raggio
    43. 43Act 2. Scene 14. Aria. Vola l'augello dal caro nido
    44. 44Act 3. Sinfonia
    45. 45Act 3. Scene 1-2. Recitativo. Mi siegue la regina
    46. 46Act 3. Scene 1-2. Aria. S'io cadrò per tuo consiglio
    47. 47Act 3. Scene 3. Recitativo. Sancio, dov'è il tuo zelo?
    48. 48Act 3. Scene 3. Aria. Cuor di madre e cuor di moglie
    49. 49Act 3. Scene 4. Recitativo. A deluder le frodi io mi preparo
    50. 50Act 3. Scene 4. Aria. Sincero affetto
    51. 51Act 3. Scene 5-7. Recitativo. Per la segreta porta
    52. 52Act 3. Scene 5-7. Aria. M'opporrò da generoso
    53. 53Act 3. Scene 8. Recitativo. Correte pure a fiumi, amare lacrime
    54. 54Act 3. Scene 8. Aria. Vorrei, né pur saprei
    55. 55Act 3. Scene 9. Recitativo. Altomaro, si renda libero lo steccato
    56. 56Act 3. Scene 9. Aria. Tiene Giove in mano il folgore
    57. 57Act 3. Scene 10-12. Recitativo. Ah padre, eccoti al piede
    58. 58Act 3. Scene 10-12. Duetto. Tu caro, caro sei
    59. 59Act 3. Scene 10-12. Recitativo. Fugga da questo suol
    60. 60Act 3. Scene 10-12. Coro. Dopo l'ire sì funeste
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Alan Curtis Primary Artist
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