- Orlando furioso, opera in 3 acts, RV 728
- Double Trumpet Concerto for 2 trumpets or oboes & continuo in D Major, RV 781 (formerly RV 563)
Credit to the Naïve label for telling you right in the graphics that this is "Orlando 1714," not the "Orlando furioso" of 1727, which is one of the best known of the generally underrated corpus of Vivaldi operas. Although the earlier work uses the same libretto it is a different work that was found unsigned among some papers of Vivaldi's and for some years wrongly attributed to another composer, Giovanni Alberto Ristori. An opera called "Orlando furioso" was performed in Venice in 1714, at a theater at which Vivaldi was a director, and this is clearly it. Naïve offers some of its typically hip graphics, but there are a few things they don't tell you: the opera is incomplete (it is missing its final act, leaving its story of a knight who goes crazy when his girlfriend marries someone else with an unsatisfactory finale), and the two acts that do exist are missing a number of arias, while others survive merely in the skeleton of a basso continuo. The missing ones are filled out with tunes from another Vivaldi opera of the period, while for the continuo items the vocal parts are the work of the opera's reconstructor and conductor, Federico Maria Sardelli. It's quite a patchwork, and it's probably of the most interest to Vivaldi buffs. This said, the conception of the work is nifty: "Orlando" is not the usual opera seria tenor (or male soprano), but a baritone, an original stroke that is entirely characteristic of the young Vivaldi. Sardelli is obviously steeped in Vivaldi, and his arias aren't far off from the real McCoys. The crisp, gutsy playing by Sardelli's orchestra Modo Antiquo is state-of-the-art, and the album introduces several fine new singers to the Baroque arena. Recommended for perfect Vivaldians.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Fantastic from beginning to end. The conductor is clearly a scholar as well, and has done a great deal of the work of compiling this edition of the opera. While the extensive program notes can be a little difficult to follow in terms of what was written when and how numbers were rearranged, that's the way it is with early music. The singers were all stellar, and the orchestra was fantastic. Ornamentation was both expressive and stylish. While this wasn't perhaps Vivaldi's greatest work, it's certainly the best recording that one could hope for.