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René Clemencic|Vivaldi, A.: Olimpiade (L') [Opera]

Vivaldi, A.: Olimpiade (L') [Opera]

Antonio Vivaldi - Pietro Metastasio

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It's astonishing that Vivaldi composed L'Olimpiade so late in his career, in 1734, when he was in his mid-fifties, after having demonstrated his mastery of opera with works like Tito Manlio, Orlando furioso, and Atenaide. On the basis of this performance, the opera sounds like it might have been written by an amateur. It starts with an oddly clunky "Sinfonia" that could be generously described as "interesting" in its alternation of phrases of four and three bars' length. The orchestration is at best perfunctory; the bulk of the music seems to have no middle, just a melody high in the violins, and a bass line, with very little, if anything, going on in between. Instances of counterpoint are scarce and rudimentary, and much of the writing sounds like the kind of insubstantial note spinning that can give the Baroque era a bad name. There are some lovely exceptions; the countertenor aria "Mentre dormi amor fomenti" and the duet for soprano and mezzo-soprano "Ne' giorni tuoi felice" stand out for their depth of feeling and musical inventiveness. It's possible that some of the music's lack of effectiveness is due to the performance by Ensemble Vocal La Cappella and Clemencic Consort, conducted by René Clemencic, and that a different, better balanced ensemble could make a more compelling case for the opera, making sense of its musical eccentricities and finding subtleties in its apparent plainness. The vocal soloists are generally erratic, some mediocre and some more than adequate, but their unevenness makes for a roller coaster ride of a listening experience. The standouts are mezzo-soprano Elisabeth von Magnus, soprano Mieke van der Sluis, and (after a rough start), countertenor Gerard Lesne, all of whom sing with fine, focused tone and strong characterizations. The sound quality of the live 1990 performance is generally poor and seems under-engineered, with prominent extraneous sounds like page turning and a singer clearing his throat. The Vivaldi enthusiast interested in L'Olimpiade would do better to explore the 2002 release by Opus 111, which also has the advantage of presenting a more complete version of the opera.
© TiVo

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Vivaldi, A.: Olimpiade (L') [Opera]

René Clemencic

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L'Olimpiade, RV 725 (Antonio Vivaldi)

1
Sinfonia
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:05:13

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - William Oberholtzer, bass - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

2
Act I Scene 1: Ho risoluto, Aminta (Licida, Aminta, Megacle)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:01:52

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - William Oberholtzer, bass - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Aris Christoffelis, soprano

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

3
Act I Scene 2: Superbo di me stesso (Megacle)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:04:31

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - William Oberholtzer, bass - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Aris Christoffelis, soprano

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

4
Act I Scene 3: Quel destrier, che allabergo e vicino (Licida, Argene, Chorus)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:03:46

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - William Oberholtzer, bass

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

5
Act I Scene 4: Chorus: Oh care selve, oh cara felice liberta! (Aristea, Argene, Clistene)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:04:57

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - William Oberholtzer, bass - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

6
Act I Scene 5: Del destin non vi lagnate (Clistene, Argene, Aristea)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:05:40

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - William Oberholtzer, bass - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

7
Act I Scene 6: E troppo spietato (Aristea, Argene)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:03:48

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - William Oberholtzer, bass - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

8
Act I Scene 7: Piu non si trovano (Argene, Megacle, Licida)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:07:40

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - William Oberholtzer, bass

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

9
Act I Scene 8: Mentre dormi, Amor fomenti (Licida, Megacle, Aristea)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:08:11

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - William Oberholtzer, bass - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

10
Act I Scene 10: Ne' giornitui fellici ricordati di me (Megacle, Aristea)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:06:01

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - William Oberholtzer, bass - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

11
Act II: Introduzione
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:01:17

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - William Oberholtzer, bass - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Aris Christoffelis, soprano

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

12
Act II Scene 1: Ed ancor della pugna l'esito non si sa? (Argene, Aristea, Alcandro)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:02:30

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - William Oberholtzer, bass - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

13
Act II Scene 1: Sta piangendo la tortorella (Aristea, Argene, Aminta)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:07:41

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - William Oberholtzer, bass

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

14
Act II Scene 5: Siam navi all'onde algenti (Aminta)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:06:38

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - William Oberholtzer, bass - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

DISC 2

1
Act II Scene 6: Avvicinati, o figlia (Clistene, Aristea, Licida, Megacle)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:01:59

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - William Oberholtzer, bass - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

2
Act II Scene 7: Qual serpe tortuosa (Clistene, Megacle, Aristea, Licida)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:09:25

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - William Oberholtzer, bass - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Aris Christoffelis, soprano

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

3
Act II Scene 10: Se cerca, se dice (Megacle, Argene, Licida, Aminta, Alcandro)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:08:46

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - William Oberholtzer, bass - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Aris Christoffelis, soprano

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

4
Act II Scene 15: Gemo in un punto e fremo (Licida, Aristea, Alcandro, Megacle)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:05:30

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - William Oberholtzer, bass - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Aris Christoffelis, soprano

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

5
Act III Scene 1: Sciagurato in braccio a morte (Alcandro, Megacle, Aristea)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:04:45

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - William Oberholtzer, bass - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

6
Act III Scene 2: Caro, son tua cosi (Aristea, Megacle, Argene)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:05:32

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - William Oberholtzer, bass - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

7
Act III Scene 3: Lo seguitai felice (Megacle)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:05:54

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - William Oberholtzer, bass - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

8
Act III Scene 4: Son quai per mare ignoto (Aminta, Clistene, Licida, Alcandro)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:08:24

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - William Oberholtzer, bass - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

9
Act III Scene 5: Non so donde viene (Clistene, Licida, Megacle, Alcandro, Chorus, Argene, Aristea, Aminta)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:11:00

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - William Oberholtzer, bass - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

10
Act III Scene 10: Viva il figlio delinquente (Chorus)
Lucia Meeuwsen
00:01:13

Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Elisabeth von Magnus, mezzo-soprano - Mieke van der Sluis, soprano - Lucia Meeuwsen, mezzo-soprano - Rene Clemencic, Conductor - Gerard Lesne, counter-tenor - William Oberholtzer, bass - Aris Christoffelis, soprano - Ensemble Vocal La Cappella, Choir - Clemencic Consort, Orchestra

2007 Nuova Era Internazionale 2007 Nuova Era Internazionale

Album Description

It's astonishing that Vivaldi composed L'Olimpiade so late in his career, in 1734, when he was in his mid-fifties, after having demonstrated his mastery of opera with works like Tito Manlio, Orlando furioso, and Atenaide. On the basis of this performance, the opera sounds like it might have been written by an amateur. It starts with an oddly clunky "Sinfonia" that could be generously described as "interesting" in its alternation of phrases of four and three bars' length. The orchestration is at best perfunctory; the bulk of the music seems to have no middle, just a melody high in the violins, and a bass line, with very little, if anything, going on in between. Instances of counterpoint are scarce and rudimentary, and much of the writing sounds like the kind of insubstantial note spinning that can give the Baroque era a bad name. There are some lovely exceptions; the countertenor aria "Mentre dormi amor fomenti" and the duet for soprano and mezzo-soprano "Ne' giorni tuoi felice" stand out for their depth of feeling and musical inventiveness. It's possible that some of the music's lack of effectiveness is due to the performance by Ensemble Vocal La Cappella and Clemencic Consort, conducted by René Clemencic, and that a different, better balanced ensemble could make a more compelling case for the opera, making sense of its musical eccentricities and finding subtleties in its apparent plainness. The vocal soloists are generally erratic, some mediocre and some more than adequate, but their unevenness makes for a roller coaster ride of a listening experience. The standouts are mezzo-soprano Elisabeth von Magnus, soprano Mieke van der Sluis, and (after a rough start), countertenor Gerard Lesne, all of whom sing with fine, focused tone and strong characterizations. The sound quality of the live 1990 performance is generally poor and seems under-engineered, with prominent extraneous sounds like page turning and a singer clearing his throat. The Vivaldi enthusiast interested in L'Olimpiade would do better to explore the 2002 release by Opus 111, which also has the advantage of presenting a more complete version of the opera.
© TiVo

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