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Ivor Bolton - Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto (2012)

Classic | Author: SELMER | 7-01-2019, 10:14
Ivor Bolton - Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto (2012)
Artist: Ann Murray, Susan Gritton, Christopher Robson & Ivor Bolton
Title Of Album: Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto
Year Of Release: 2012
Label: Farao Classics
Country: UK
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (*image + .cue, log, scans)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 2:48:26
Full Size: 925 MB


CD 1
1. Overture - Zinkler, Jan
2. Viva, Il Nostro Alcide! (1. Akt)
3. Presti Omai L'egizia Terra
4. Curio, Cesare Venne
5. Empio, Diro, Tu Sei
6. Madre! Cornelia! Oh Stelle
7. Priva Son D'ogni Conforto
8. Vani Sono I Lamenti
9. Svegliatevi Nel Core
10. Regni Cleopatra
11. Non Disperar, Chi Sa?
12. Sire, Signor!
13. L'empio, Sleale, Indegno
14. Alma Del Gran Pompeo
15. Qui Nobile, Donzella
16. Nel Tuo Seno, Amico Sasso
17. Ma Che! Vile E Negletta
18. Tu La Mia Stella Sei
19. Cesare, Alle Tua Destra
20. Va Tacito E Nascosto
21. Sire, Con Sesto Il Figlio
22. Tu Sei Il Cor Di Questo Core
23. Madre! Mia Vita!
24. Son Natao A Lagrimar

CD 2
1. Eseguisti, Oh Niren
2. Sinfonia (2. Akt)
3. Giulio, Che Miri?
4. V'adoro, Pupille
5. Vola, Mio Cor, Al Dolce Incanto!
6. Se In Fiorito Ameno Prato
7. Deh Piangete, Oh Mesti Lumi
8. Bella, Non Lagrimare!
9. Si Spietata, Il Tuo Rigore
10. Su, Che Si Tarda?
11. Cessa Omai Di Sospirare!
12. Figlio Non e
13. L'angue Offeso Mai Riposa
14. Esser Qui Deve In Breve
15. Venere Bella
16. Che Veggio, Oh Numi!
17. Al Lampo Dell'armi
18. Che Sento? Oh Dio!
19. Se Pieta Di Me Non Senti

CD 3
1. Sinfonia (3. Akt)
2. Vinta Cadesti
3. Domero La Tua Fierezza
4. E Pur Cosi In Un Giorno
5. Piangero La Sorte Mia
6. Dall'ondoso Periglio - Aure, Deh Per Pieta
7. Cerco In Van Tolomeo
8. Quel Torrente
9. Voi, Che Mie Fide Ancelle
10. Forzai L'ingresso
11. Da Tempeste Il Legno Infranto
12. Cornelia e Tempo Omai
13. Non Ha Piu Che Temere
14. Sinfonia - Marcia
15. Qui Curio Vincitor
16. Caro! Piu Amabile Belta
17. Goda Pur Or L'egitto
18. Ritorni Omai Nel Nostro Core

The vast discography of Giulio Cesare in Egitto (1724) is a proverbial mixed bag. The Bavarian State Opera’s 1994 production typified the modernist traditionalism of ridiculous concepts invented to stop the audience from getting too bored with Handel’s work. Sir Peter Jonas’s polemical booklet-note insinuates that anyone who disagrees with such a supposedly ‘relevant’ approach is clearly not intelligent enough, but it is not difficult to understand the damaging impact of heavy cuts and ending Act 2 in the wrong place. Ivor Bolton’s coaching of the Bavarian orchestra results in a convincing pseudo-Baroque style; Cesare’s ‘Va tacito e nascosto’ is diminished by its reckless briskness; but I am glad to have heard Susan Gritton’s moving performance of ‘Se pieta’.

Even accomplished studio versions of the opera are seldom consistently satisfying, so there is room for Alan Curtis’s stylistic sincerity, fidelity to the unabridged text and sensible casting. In a few previous projects Il Complesso Barocco’s playing sounded disengaged from the emotional ebb and flow of the drama but on this occasion it never seems perfunctory. Judiciously paced recitatives are accompanied unobtrusively and always permit the poetry to flow with the utmost clarity; this allows the listener to absorb the delivery of characters’ lines. It is a refreshing antidote to Baroque opera performances which seem obsessed with hurrying up as much as possible in order to get to the next aria, or spice up the continuo parts to distraction.

Curtis wisely pays diligent attention to Handel’s tempo markings: Cesare’s ‘Empio, diro, tu sei’ has righteous anger but is not so rushed that the words are lost; the mournful ombra music in the middle of Sesto’s vengeance aria ‘Svegliatevi nel core’ is ideally spellbinding, whereas its fast sections are dogmatic enough to convey determination rather than merely superficial volatility. Tolomeo’s spiteful ‘L’empio, sleale, indegno’ is adeptly characterised by the animated strings, and Cesare’s ‘Va tacito e nascosto’ is judged astutely as a stealthy conspiratorial aside to the audience. A genuine effort has been made to make the onstage band in the Parnassus scene (‘V’adoro pupille’) sound from a distance and the spatial texture with the rest of the orchestra is beguiling.

There are no weak links vocally. Marie-Nicole Lemieux is a dependable Cesare and Karina Gauvin is an eloquent, steely Cleopatra. Emo?ke Barath’s Sesto is ideally fresh-voiced and Romina Basso is a perfect fit for Cornelia; their unforced voices blend together exquisitely in an achingly beautiful performance of the duet ‘Son nata a lagrimar’. It also seems right that Johannes Weisser sings Achilla’s ‘Tu se il cor’ initially as an attempt to be genuinely seductive rather than to clumsily bully Cornelia from the outset. My only reservation is that in some slower arias fiddly embellishments seem convoluted where I would have liked to sense Handel’s melodic genius breathing more freely. However, Curtis’s outstanding performance ranks comfortably alongside George Petrou’s dissimilar (and occasionally quirky) version as the most satisfying studio recordings of Handel’s most famous opera. -- David Vickers, Gramophone

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