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Opera - Released December 1, 2017 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The opera Dorilla in Tempe, which was first performed in Venice in 1726, exudes a delightful rural atmosphere. The libretto tells a bucolic story set in a valley of Thessaly. Between amorous twists and a huge sacrifice, the various misadventures of Dorilla offer Vivaldi the occasion to deploy a luminous sound palette where hunting horns and flutes often support choruses and soloists. He resumed the work in 1728, still in Venice, then again in 1732 in Prague and one last time in 1734 at "his" theatre - Sant’Angelo. Only this 1734 version has reached us, and so it serves as a basis for present recordings. It is a "pasticcio", for which Vivaldi used various composers - Hasse, Giacomelli, Sarri and Leo in this case - whose melodies replace some of his own; about a third of them are borrowed from colleagues in fact. It was never Vivaldi’s intention to recycle on the sly: the principle of "pasticcio" was the most widespread at the time and very popular with the public. The particularly rare vocal timbres are noticeable: they are made up of almost exclusively deep voices, including three mezzos and one baritone and even two deep castratos, nowadays replaced by contraltos who are much easier to dig up. The entire score gives off a mad energy; a delightful peculiarity adorns part of the opening, in which Vivaldi takes over one of the movements with his Four Seasons with the addition of a choir - proof that even though this music is rich at the base, it can still be further enriched, provided your name is Vivaldi! Diego Fasolis and his ensemble I Barrochisti offer us here one of the very, very rare discographical performances of this neglected masterpiece. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released May 29, 2020 | Passacaille

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Violin Concertos - Released March 2, 2009 | naïve

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Sacred Vocal Music - Released March 8, 2001 | Naxos

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Theatre Music - Released April 1, 2006 | Chandos

Booklet
If the French Revolution hadn't turned into a bloodbath, if Napoleon hadn't turned into a tyrant, and if Austria, England, and Austria hadn't won the Napoleonic wars, François-Joseph Gossec might conceivably hold the same exalted position in music history that Beethoven does and his Le Triomphe de la République might possibly have the same high regard in world culture that Beethoven's Ninth does. Gossec has something of the same grand scale, lofty aspirations, and popular appeal as Beethoven and his lyric divertissement in one act celebrating the victories of the nascent republic has something of the same enormous scope, elevated tone, and common touch of his Ninth Symphony. Of course, Gossec was aiming a lot lower aesthetically in La Triomphe than Beethoven was in his Ninth and while the initial audiences might have been transported by the work's ardent patriotism, latter-day audiences may be put off by its aggressive aggrandizement. But if they are, it won't be the fault of this stupendous recording. The formidable Diego Fasolis leads I Barocchisti, the Coro della Radio Svizzera, the Coro Calicantus, and seven vocal soloists in a performance that is enough to shake the walls and rattle the windows. While not perhaps the last word in refinement, Fasolis and his forces are the first word in magnificence with imposing choruses, impressive solos, splendid orchestral effects -- listen to the gargantuan tympani imitating the roar of artillery -- and, in the closing international ballet, a sense of joi de vivre that perhaps only a great performance of the Ode to Joy can match. As barely contained in Chandos' staggering sound, Gossec's La Triomphe deserves to be heard by anyone with an interest in the period. © TiVo
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Cantatas (sacred) - Released July 1, 1997 | Naxos

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Sacred Vocal Music - Released June 1, 2004 | Chandos

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Sacred Oratorios - Released January 1, 2008 | CPO

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Sacred Vocal Music - Released August 24, 2000 | Naxos

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Chamber Music - Released November 7, 2006 | Arts Productions Ltd

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Full Operas - Released October 30, 2015 | Glossa

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You may be shocked to see Mozart's name attached to an 1801 date on this Glossa release, but the actual nature of the recording is not so shocking: Les Mystères d'Isis is an adaptation of Die Zauberflöte, K. 620 (The Magic Flute), made for the Paris Opera by the Bohemian composer Ludwig Wenzel Lachnith and the French librettist Etienne Morel de Chédeville. This is no mere translation. Not only Chédeville, but also Lachnith, remade Mozart's opera to suit French tastes and even French singers, lowering the Queen of the Night, for example, to a mezzo-soprano. The two acts of the original opera become four, with interpolated arias from other Mozart operas (including Don Giovanni) and even the slow movement of Haydn's Symphony No. 103 in E flat major, H. 1/103 thrown in as a curtain raiser. Certainly such insertion arias were common at the time, but the degree of alteration here is extreme. All the characters' names change except for Pamina's and Sarastro's, and Papageno becomes a much more significant figure. The question arises as to why the French would have been interested in the opera at all in a form shorn of its original content; the detailed booklet points out that the opera's Egyptian setting would have contributed to its appeal, and notes further that even Wagner's operas were performed in French at their premieres. The whole project is interesting for the insight it provides into a time when classical compositions were something other than the sacred texts they later became. Berlioz, who helped that process along, savaged Les Mystères d'Isis mercilessly (the terms "wretched hodgepodge" and even "assassination" were used), as did Mozart's biographer Otto Jahn, who noted correctly that the adaption strips the low comedy out of the opera. It is nevertheless indefinably appealing to hear this familiar music sung in French, and instructive to study this chapter in the history of how the Mozart legend took shape. The performances are fine: Renata Pokupic as the Queen of the Night, here named Myrrène, is a standout, and the historical instruments of the group Le Concert Spirituel under Diego Fasolis realize unusual and even lush orchestral textures that might not have been recognizable to Mozart but are part of his reception history. Those interested in that reception history will be intrigued by this release. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | CPO

Giovanni Paisiello, whose works Mozart thought enough of to study closely, was mostly forgotten in the nineteenth century, and this Passione de Gesù Cristo remained buried until 1998. This is its second recording; a Polish version on the Arts label, from that year, is also available. The oratorio's text is by the preeminent operatic librettist of the eighteenth century, Pietro Metastasio. One can easily understand why the work has never had a critical mass of general listeners, but for those interested in Mozart's world it's truly fascinating. This passion story features neither Jesus nor Pontius Pilate, nor any of the other usual personages. Instead it takes place after Christ's crucifixion, recounted by St. John, Joseph of Arimatea, and Mary Magdalene (in surely her biggest part until Jesus Christ Superstar came along) to St. Peter, with the accompaniment of a chorus of Christ's other followers; in the second part, all bewail the corruption of Jerusalem and look forward to Christ's resurrection. This setup does more than provide the opportunity for operatic grief, although there is plenty of that. Metastasio's libretto was set by various composers, including Salieri and Niccolò Jommelli, whose version was probably even more vocally flashy than Paisiello's own. But even with Paisiello, the music is either unsatisfactory or instructive, depending on your point of view, in that it has none of the concessions to the traditions of sacred style found in Mozart (with the restrictions he faced in Salzburg and the later contrapuntal tendencies of his music) or Haydn (over whom loomed Handel's example). It is pure opera. Sample Mary Magdalene's aria "Vorrei dirti il mio dolore" (I would tell you of my pain), CD 1, track 8, to get an idea of what you are getting into as a buyer here. But it is not just the operatic style that makes the work intriguing -- it is Metastasio's conception and Paisiello's response to it. The hearer of this work is experiencing the Passion story in a secondhand way that tells you a lot about the late eighteenth century and its peculiar brand of faith, which was formalized, compartmentalized, and aestheticized. The performances here are among the best in CPO's catalog, and Swiss conductor Diego Fasolis, best-known for his Bach recordings, makes the transition to Classical-period music more easily than many other Baroque-oriented musicians, and those who have not yet had the chance to hear his frequent collaborator, soprano Roberta Invernizzi, should take this chance to do so -- she is heard in the role of Peter, for a SATB solo configuration. Surely this rather curious work is not an essential possession, but this is a fine recording that helps bring the world of the late eighteenth century alive. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released February 1, 2004 | Chandos

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Cantatas (secular) - Released May 1, 2000 | Chandos

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