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Bejun Mehta|Handel: Orlando

Handel: Orlando

Bejun Mehta

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This recording of Orlando was done in a studio and released by the reconstituted Archiv Produktion label in 2014, but it features the cast and musicians from a 2012 live production in Brussels. For some this may be an improvement; the 2012 staging was controversial, presenting Ariosto's king Orlando as a kind of arsonist. Here everything is stripped down to the musical elements, which are very fine indeed. A good deal of the opera's abundant stage machinery is retained, and here and elsewhere the Archiv engineering team does very well. The ensembles give the feel of listening to an opera, but nothing is boxy or distorted. Orlando, rediscovered only in 1959, ranks among the most unjustifiably neglected of Handel's operas. Its modern champion, countertenor Bejun Mehta, reprises the title role here, and his performance is well worth the price of this two-disc set. The climax of the opera comes with Orlando's descent into madness at end of Act II, and Mehta's performance here, totally absorbed in the role and not at all histrionic, is extraordinary. He's backed by a strong international cast, notably bass Konstantin Wolff as Zoroaster (who has the task of talking Orlando down), and in all this could be the performance that puts Orlando on operatic stages, not just in recorded excerpt compilations.
© TiVo

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Handel: Orlando

Bejun Mehta

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Orlando, HWV 31 / Act 1 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

1
Ouverture
B’Rock Orchestra
00:04:49

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

2
No. 1 Acc. "Gieroglifici eterni"
Konstantin Wolff
00:02:21

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Konstantin Wolff, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

3
No. 2 Cavatina "Stimulato della gloria"
Bejun Mehta
00:01:58

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

4
Rec. "Purgalo ormai" - No. 3 Sinfonia - Rec. "Mira"
Bejun Mehta
00:01:46

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Konstantin Wolff, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

5
No. 4 Aria "Lascia Amor"
Konstantin Wolff
00:03:54

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Konstantin Wolff, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

6
No. 5 Acc. "Imagini funeste" - No. 6 Aria "Non fu già"
Bejun Mehta
00:06:58

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

7
No. 7 Acc. "Quanto diletto" - Rec. "Io non so" - No. 8 Acc e Rec. "Itene pur"
Sunhae Im
00:02:53

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

8
No. 9 Aria "Ho un certo rossore"
Sunhae Im
00:03:09

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

9
Rec. "M'hai vinto al fin" - No. 10 Duettino "Ritornava al suo bel viso" - Rec. "Spera, mio ben"
Sophie Karthäuser
00:03:03

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kristina Hammarström, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

10
No. 11 Aria "Chi possessore" - Rec. "Ecco Dorinda"
Sophie Karthäuser
00:04:48

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kristina Hammarström, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

11
No. 12 Aria "Se'l cor mai ti dirà"
Kristina Hammarstrom
00:03:42

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Kristina Hammarström, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

12
Rec. "Povera me!" - No. 13 Aria "O care parolette" - Rec. "Noti a me sono"
Sunhae Im
00:04:10

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Konstantin Wolff, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

13
Rec. "Noti a me sono"
Sophie Karthäuser
00:02:52

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Konstantin Wolff, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

14
No. 14 Aria "Se fedel vuoi"
Sophie Karthäuser
00:04:07

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

15
Rec. "T'ubbidiro" - No. 15 Aria "Fammi combattere"
Bejun Mehta
00:04:02

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

16
Rec. "Angelica, deh ! lascia..."
Sophie Karthäuser
00:02:19

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kristina Hammarström, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

17
No. 16 Terzetto "Consolati, o bella"
Sophie Karthäuser
00:04:46

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kristina Hammarström, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Orlando, HWV 31 / Act 2 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

18
No. 17 Cavatina "Quando spieghi" - Rec. "Perchè, gentil Dorinda"
Sunhae Im
00:04:43

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

19
No. 18 Aria "Se mi rivolgo al prato"
Sunhae Im
00:05:44

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

20
Rec. "È questa la mercede" - No. 19 Aria "Cielo! se tu il consenti"
Bejun Mehta
00:04:57

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

DISC 2

1
Rec. "A qual rischio vi espone" - No. 20 Aria "Tra caligini profonde"
Sophie Karthäuser
00:05:01

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Konstantin Wolff, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kristina Hammarström, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

2
Rec. "Da queste amiche piante" - No. 21 Aria "Verdi allori"
Sophie Karthäuser
00:05:49

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kristina Hammarström, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

3
Rec. "Dopo tanti perigli" - No. 22 Aria "Non potrà dirmi ingrato" - Rec. "Dove guidate"
Sophie Karthäuser
00:05:37

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

4
No. 23 Aria "Verdi piante"
Sophie Karthäuser
00:07:28

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

5
Rec. "Ah! perfida" - No. 24 Acc. "Ah! stigie larve"
Sophie Karthäuser
00:09:34

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kristina Hammarström, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Orlando, HWV 31 / Act 3 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

6
No. 25 Sinfonia - Rec. "Di Dorinda alle mura"
Sunhae Im
00:02:12

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kristina Hammarström, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

7
No. 26 Aria "Vorrei poterti amar"
Kristina Hammarstrom
00:03:06

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Kristina Hammarström, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

8
Rec. "Più obbligata gli sono" - No. 27 Aria e Rec. "Unisca amor in noi"
Sunhae Im
00:03:55

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

9
No. 28 "Già lo stringo"
Bejun Mehta
00:02:09

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

10
Rec. "Di Dorinda all'albergo" - No. 29 Aria "così giusta è questa speme"
Sophie Karthäuser
00:05:43

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

11
Rec. "S'è corrisposto un core" - No. 30 Aria "Amor è qual vento"
Sunhae Im
00:05:34

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

12
Rec. "Impari ogn'un da Orlando" - No. 32 Aria "Sorge infausta une procella"
Konstantin Wolff
00:05:43

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Konstantin Wolff, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

13
Rec. "Dorinda, e perchè piangi?"
Sunhae Im
00:01:49

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

14
No. 33 Duetto "Finchè predi ancora il sangue" - Rec. "Vieni! Vanne precipitando" - No. 34 Acc."Già per la man d'Orlando"
Sophie Karthäuser
00:04:41

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

15
No. 35 Arioso "Già l'ebbro mio ciglio"
Bejun Mehta
00:04:22

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

16
Rec. "Ecco il tempo prefisso" - No. 36 Acc. "Tu, che dal gran Tonante" - No. 37 Sinfonia - Rec. "Ah! che fate, Signor?"
Sunhae Im
00:03:05

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Konstantin Wolff, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

17
Rec. "Dormo ancora, o son desso?" - No. 38 Duettino "Per far, mia diletta" - Rec. "Che vedo, oh Dei!"
Sunhae Im
00:03:48

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Konstantin Wolff, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kristina Hammarström, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

18
No. 39 Acc. "Vinse incanti" - No. 40 Coro "Tronfa oggi'l mio cor"
Sunhae Im
00:02:55

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Martin Sauer, Producer, Recording Producer - Tobias Lehmann, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Grazio Braccioli, Author - René Jacobs, Conductor, MainArtist - Bejun Mehta, Counter-Tenor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sunhae Im, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Konstantin Wolff, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Sophie Karthäuser, Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Kristina Hammarström, Mezzo-Soprano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist

℗ 2014 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Album Description

This recording of Orlando was done in a studio and released by the reconstituted Archiv Produktion label in 2014, but it features the cast and musicians from a 2012 live production in Brussels. For some this may be an improvement; the 2012 staging was controversial, presenting Ariosto's king Orlando as a kind of arsonist. Here everything is stripped down to the musical elements, which are very fine indeed. A good deal of the opera's abundant stage machinery is retained, and here and elsewhere the Archiv engineering team does very well. The ensembles give the feel of listening to an opera, but nothing is boxy or distorted. Orlando, rediscovered only in 1959, ranks among the most unjustifiably neglected of Handel's operas. Its modern champion, countertenor Bejun Mehta, reprises the title role here, and his performance is well worth the price of this two-disc set. The climax of the opera comes with Orlando's descent into madness at end of Act II, and Mehta's performance here, totally absorbed in the role and not at all histrionic, is extraordinary. He's backed by a strong international cast, notably bass Konstantin Wolff as Zoroaster (who has the task of talking Orlando down), and in all this could be the performance that puts Orlando on operatic stages, not just in recorded excerpt compilations.
© TiVo

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