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Ivor Bolton - Handel: Xerxes (2005)

Classic | Author: SELMER | 13-04-2018, 06:36
Ivor Bolton - Handel: Xerxes (2005)
Artist: Ivor Bolton
Title Of Album: Handel: Xerxes
Year Of Release: 2016
Label: Farao Records
Country: UK
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (*image + .cue, log, artwork)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 02:52:38
Full Size: 887 MB


CD 1
1. Ov - Bavarian State Orch/Ivor Bolton

2. Act I: Recitativo Serse - Ann Murray
3. Arioso Serse: Ombra Mai Fu - Ann Murray
4. Recitativo Arsamene/Elviro - Christopher Robson/Jan Zinkler
5. Recitativo E Arioso Romilda: O Voi, Che Penate - Yvonne Kenny
6. Recitativo Serse/Arsamene - Ann Murray/Christopher Robson
7. Aria Romilda: Va Godendo - Yvonne Kenny
8. Recitativo Serse/Arsamene - Ann Murray/Christopher Robson
9. Duetto Serse/Arsamene: Lo Le Diro Che L'amo - Ann Murray/Christopher Robson
10. Recitativo Romilda/Arsamene - Yvonne Kenny/Chrostopher Robson
11. Aria Atalanta: Si, Si, Mio Ben - Julie Kaufmann
12. Recitativo Elviro/Arsamene/Serse/Romilda - Jan Zinkler/Christopher Robson/Ann Murray/Yvonne Kenny
13. Aria Arsamene: Meglio In Voi Col Mio Partire - Christopher Robson
14. Recitativo Serse - Ann Murray
15. Aria Serse: Di Tacere E Di Schernirmi - Ann Murray
16. Recitativo Romilda - Yvonne Kenny
17. Aria Romilda: Ne Men Con L'ombre - Yvonne Kenny
18. Aria Amastre: Se Cangio Spoglia - Patricia Bardon
19. Recitativo Ariodate/Amastre - Umberto Chiummo/Patricia Bardon
20. Coro Soldati: Gia La Tromba - Chor Of The Bavarian State Opr/Ivor Bolton
21. Recitativo Amastre/Serse/Ariodate - Patricia Bardon/Ann Murray/Umberto Chiummo
22. Aria Ariodate: Soggietto Al Mio Volere - Umberto Chiummo
23. Coro Soldati: Gia La Tromba - Chor Of The Bavarian State Opr/Ivor Bolton
24. Recitativo Serse/Amastre - Ann Murray/Patricia Bardon
25. Aria Serse: Piu Che Penso - Ann Murray
26. Recitativo Arsamene/Elviro - Christopher Robson/Jan Zinkler
27. Arietta Elviro: Signor, Signor, Lasciate Far A Me - Jan Zinkler
28. Aria Arsamene: Non So Se Sia La Speme - Christopher Robson
29. Recitativo Amastre - Patricia Bardon
30. Aria Amastre: Sapra Delle Mie Offese - Patricia Bardon
31. Recitativo Atalanta/Romilda - Julie Kaufmann/Yvonne Kenny
32. Aria Romilda: Se L'idol Mio - Yvonne Kenny
33. Recitativo Atalanta - Julie Kaufmann
34. Aria Atalanta: Un Cenno Leggiadretto - Julie Kaufmann
35. (Blank) - Georg Friedrich Handel

CD 2
1. Act II: Arioso Amastre: Speranze Mi Fermate - Patricia Bardon
2. Arioso Elviro: Ah! Chi Voler Fiora - Jan Zinkler
3. Recitativo Elviro/Amastre - Jan Zinkler/Patricia Bardon
4. Aria Amastre: Or Che Siete Speranze Tradite - Patricia Bardon
5. Recitativo Elviro - Jan Zinkler
6. Arioso Atalanta: A Piangere Ogn'ora - Julie Kaufmann
7. Arietta Elviro: Ah! Tigre Infedele - Jan Zinkler
8. Arioso Serse: E Tormento Troppo Fiero - Ann Murray
9. Recitativo Serse/Atalanta - Ann Murray/Julie Kaufmann
10. Aria Atalanta: Dira, Che Amor Per Me - Julie Kaufmann
11. Recitativo Serse/Romilda - Ann Murray/Yvonne Kenny
12. Duetto Serse/Romilda: L'ammerete? - Ann Murray/Yvonne Kenny
13. Aria Serse: Se Bramate D'amar - Ann Murray
14. Recitativo Romilda - Yvonne Kenny
15. Aria Romilda: E Gelosia Quella Tiranna - Yvonne Kenny
16. Recitativo Amastre/Elviro - Patricia Bardon/Jan Zinkler
17. Aria Amastre: Anima Infida - Patricia Bardon
18. Recitativo Elviro/Arsamene - Jan Zinkler/Christopher Robson
19. Aria Arsamene: Quella Che Tutta Fe - Christopher Robson
20. Coro Marinari: La Virtute So Potea - Chor Of The Bavarian State Opr/Ivor Bolton
21. Recitativo Serse/Ariodate - Ann Murray/Umberto Chiummo
22. Coro Marinari: La Virtute So Potea - Chor Of The Bavarian State Opr/Ivor Bolton
23. Arioso Arsamene: Per Dar Fine - Christopher Robson
24. Recitativo Serse/Arsamene - Ann Murray/Christopher Robson
25. Aria Arsamene: Si, La Voglio - Christopher Robson
26. Recitativo Atalanta/Serse - Julie Kaufmann/Ann Murray
27. Aria Atalanta: Voi Mi Dite - Julie Kaufmann
28. Recitativo Serse - Ann Murray
29. Aria Serse: Il Core Spera E Teme - Ann Murray
30. Recitativo Elviro - Jan Zinkler
31. Arietta Elviro: Del Mio Caro Baco - Jan Zinkler
32. Duetto Serse/Amastre: Gran Pena E Gelosia - Ann Murray/Patricia Bardon
33. Recitativo Serse/Amastre - Ann Murray/Patricia Bardon
34. Arietta Romilda: Val Piu Contento Core - Yvonne Kenny
35. Recitativo Serse/Romilda/Amastre - Ann Murray/Yvonne Kenny/Patricia Bardon
36. Aria Romilda: Chi Cede Al Furore - Yvonne Kenny
37. (Blank) - Georg Friedrich Handel

CD 3
1. Act III: Sinf - Bavarian State Orch/Ivor Bolton
2. Recitativo Arsamene/Romilda/Atalanta/Elviro - Christopher Robson/Yvonne Kenny/Julie Kaufmann/Jan Zinkler
3. Arietta Atalanta: No, No, Se Tu Mi Sprezzi - Julie Kaufmann
4. Recitativo Romilda/Elviro/Arsamene/Serse - Yvonne Kenny/Jan Zinkler/Christopher Robson/Ann Murray
5. Aria Serse: Per Rendermi Beato - Ann Murray
6. Recitativo Arsamene/Romilda - Christopher Robson/Yvonne Kenny
7. Aria Arsamene: Amor, Tiranno Amor - Christopher Robson
8. Recitativo Serse/Ariodate - Ann Murray/Umberto Chiummo
9. Aria Ariodate: Del Ciel D'amore - Umberto Chiummo
10. Recitativo Romilda/Serse/Amastre - Yvonne Kenny/Ann Murray/Patricia Bardon
11. Aria Amastre: Cagion Son Io - Patricia Bardon
12. Recitativo Arsamene/Romilda - Christopher Robson/Yvonne Kenny
13. Duetto Romilda/Arsamene: Troppo Oltraggi La Mia Fede - Yvonne Kenny/Christopher Robson
14. Coro Ministri: Cio Che Giove Destino - Chor Of The Bavarian State Opr/Ivor Bolton
15. Recitativo Ariodate/Arsamene/Romilda - Umberto Chiummo/Christopher Robson/Yvonne Kenny
16. Coro Ministri: Chi Infelice Si Trovo - Chor Of The Bavarian State Opr/Ivor Bolton
17. Recitativo Serse/Ariodate - Ann Murray/Umberto Chiummo
18. Aria Serse: Crude Furie - Ann Murray
19. Recitativo Tutti - Ann Murray/Christopher Robson/Patricia Bardon/Umberto Chiummo/Yvonne Kenny/Julie Kaufmann...
20. Aria Romilda: Caro Voi Siete All'alma - Yvonne Kenny
21. Finale Tutti - Ann Murray/Christopher Robson/Patricia Bardon/Umberto Chiummo/Yvonne Kenny/Julie Kaufmann...
22. (Blank) - Georg Friedrich Handel

The aria Ombra mai fu at the start of Act I of Handel's opera seria Serse (Xerxes) is likely to be its best-known asset. Serse was written in 1733-38, at the end of Handel's career as an opera composer: he concentrated on oratorio after 1741. It is a great achievement. Not least because it uses the music, and the marriage of words and music, to evoke in the audience pathos, sympathy, delight, and as much tempered ridicule as tempered tenderness.

Serse is an opera of circumstance - of feigned, genuine, misplaced, misguided and even mistaken (Serse's for a tree) love, of revenge and obsession. The pace that conductor Ivor Bolton follows (this is the Mackerras/Davies version) is a brisk one. It's one that allows us little time for indulgence, yet manages to bring out a full range of responses. It also throws the greatest attention onto the parts of the work that matter most – the key arias, the more elegant melodies and the character- and plot-defining moments.

This is also a live recording; it was made in 1997 at the Munich Nationaltheater. Although there is plenty of stage atmosphere, it’s far from intrusive; applause follows not all of the numbers and tends to add to the experience.

There is, of course, much fine music in Serse and this recording has much to recommend it for immediacy, vibrancy, and a great grasp of the work's structure. Sequence and contrast are important: it’s in the juxtaposition of numbers, monologues and groupings that the ironies emerge of someone so besotted that his lack of judgement becomes positively dangerous. These are often subtle juxtapositions for subtlety is called for - not burlesque - when foibles such as fickleness are concerned. And a dignified, not a mocking, revelation of Serse’s deviancy makes a clearer impression on listeners in harmony with the idiom Handel surely intended than overdoing it. Such fine-tuning is exemplified in the delightfully understated duetto for Serse and Amastre, Gran pena e gelosia [CD2 tr.32].

These subtleties are compellingly conveyed by a top notch cast. Yet, although the standards of playing and singing are high, there is the inherent worry that Baroque singing styles have not been followed: vibrato is widely used, and what for many will be an over-emphasis on dramatic impact at the expense of purity threatens to push its way to the fore when we're used to something gentler. Notes are leaned into. Listen to the almost wobbling higher reaches of Ann Murray’s (Serse) Se bramate d’amore [CD2 tr.13]… quite out of place. Similarly Christopher Robson almost strains with Quella che tutto fe [CD2 tr.19]. More uncertainty can be heard at the very end of Si, la voglio [CD2 tr.25]: his delivery is so mannered as to draw attention not to what he sings but to how he is singing it.

Nevertheless, this is a stylish performance, which the recording reflects. It’s clear from the photographs in the set’s booklet that there were some striking and larger-than-life performances… the costumes, make-up and poses struck. All the singers are absorbed in their roles; it is a pleasure to follow as the involved - yet not improbable - plot unfolds. Handel’s success was to paint such depth into a relatively familiar set of circumstances as those treated in Serse. And then manage to give the characters interest enough for us to care for them despite the somewhat stock roles they play. The experienced and accomplished singers on this recording really take us with them dramatically. They do so as much through a sense of style and careful projection of the basic conflicts in the life of Serse himself (and those whom he affects as he manages his troubles) as from pure technique.

The recording is open and clear; and the acoustic a good one. The booklet which the independent FARAO has provided is useful with an informative introductory essay and libretto in Italian, German and English.

This is a communicative and sensitive account of Handel’s last drama per musica. It has much to recommend it – if faithfulness to Baroque singing conventions is less important than conviction.

There is a total of five other complete recordings of the opera in the catalogue at present and the Bravissimo Opera Library devoted to Mirella Freni contains a Serse. The first choice would probably be McGegan on Conifer (51312, also live takes from the Gottingen Festival) for clarity, beauty and the most appropriate response to Handel’s intentions. But for sheer joie de vivre you may want to investigate this release; nothing new, startling or musically stunning. But every word is clear, every emotion communicated. It’s tempting to think Handel that would have approved. ~ Mark Sealey

Download Ivor Bolton - Handel: Xerxes (2005)

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