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Posted October 1, 2010
What a strange and thoroughly bizarre recording of this great work, the first full opera in the history of music. Emmanuelle Haim has a concept of the work that is more fitting to Verdi and 19th-ceitnry grand opera than the beautiful chamber quality of Monteverdi's magnificent work. Sonia Prina, for instance, in the role os Speranza sounds like she is singing Azucena's aria " Stride La Vampa" Except for some shining exceptions, most of the singers are totally unsuited to singing Baroque music. One of those exceptions is Veronique Gens whose Baroque soprano should be a French national treasure. As far as ornamentation is concerned, there is very little and what there is sounds like Bel Canto and not true Baroque ornamentation practice of the period. I must say, that even with the addition of drums in certain of the set pieces, the instrumentation and colors in the continuo are rather delicious. It is a shame that the kind of attention that was paid to the instruments was not paid to the singers. My favorite recording of L'Orfeo is that of John Eliot Gardiner with the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists. This is L Orfeo as it was meant to be, a great dance from beginning to end, done in the proportions of chamber music, and not Grand Opera. I do not recommend this recording at all, unless one is interested in a quirky, mannered, ill-conceived bad joke.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.