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Antonio Vivaldi: Farnace [Box set, Import]

A. Vivaldi Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 65.32 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details


Disc: 1
1. Il Farnace, opera: Sinfonia. Vivo
2. Il Farnace, opera: Sinfonia. Allegro e piano
3. Il Farnace, opera: Sinfonia. Spiritoso
4. Il Farnace, opera: Marcia
5. Il Farnace, opera: Recitativo. Ma d'onde, o mio Regina
6. Il Farnace, opera: Aria. Da quel ferro che ha svenato (Risoluto e staccato)
See all 33 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Il Farnace, opera: Aria. S'arma il cielo di tuoni e di lampi
2. Farnace, opera in 3 acts, RV 711: Act 2. Scene 1. Recitativo. Principessa gentil
3. Farnace, opera in 3 acts, RV 711: Act 2. Scene 1. Aria. Lascia di sospirar
4. Farnace, opera in 3 acts, RV 711: Act 2. Scene 2. Recitativo. Di Farnace e del figlio
5. Farnace, opera in 3 acts, RV 711: Act 2. Scene 2. Aria. Langue misero quel valore
6. Farnace, opera in 3 acts, RV 711: Act 2. Scene 3. Recitativo. No ch'amar non e fallo
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Il Farnace, opera: Marcia
2. Farnace, opera in 3 acts, RV 711: Act 3. Scene 1. Recitativo. Gilade. Gran Regina
3. Farnace, opera in 3 acts, RV 711: Act 3. Scene 1. Aria. Quel candido fiore
4. Farnace, opera in 3 acts, RV 711: Act 3. Scene 2. Recitativo. Signor; se la clemenza
5. Farnace, opera in 3 acts, RV 711: Act 3. Scene 2. Aria. Forse o caro in questo accenti
6. Farnace, opera in 3 acts, RV 711: Act 3. Scene 3. Recitativo. Si, qualche nume
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Amazon.ca

For all Vivaldi's current popularity, his nearly 50 operas continue to languish in undeserved obscurity. This live performance of his 1727 hit, Farnace, should help rectify posterity's oversight, for the music is compelling and the spirited singing and conducting are irresistible. The plot is a typical 18th-century opera narrative concerning people in ancient times whose confusing doings resist concise summary, but combine family discord, high politics, hate, love, and forgiveness. Jordi Savall leads his crack period instrument ensemble in a spirited rendition that stresses dramatic values. His sterling cast has no discernible weak links and several especially strong ones, such as baritone Furio Zanasi in the title role, contralto Sara Mingardo as his wife, and the daughter of the villainess of the opera, Farnace's arch-rival, Queen Berenice, soprano Adriana Fernandez. In fact, everybody sings with dramatic abandon and uses stunning coloratura effects. Savall also interpolates about 20 minutes of music from another Farnace opera written a dozen years later by Francesco Corselli, emulating the period practice of inserting materials by other contemporary composers. The fluent singing and dynamic drive of the orchestra make this among the best recordings of Baroque Italian opera. The format is a book-style packaging, with lavish illustrations, full text, and translations. --Dan Davis

Product Description


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Requiem for a dead son June 27 2003
Format:Audio CD
Vivaldi's vocal music will, I believe, eventually be adulated on a level approaching Bach's. For those who have labored through the rocky trails of bizarre, overpriced, and obscure recordings of his sacred music, recently revitalized by Robert King and Rinaldo Alessandrini, to name two, his operatic repertoire is a godsend, all the more so since these latter CD's have been favored by truly excellent singers. And no wonder. Who, other than Bach (and, to lesser extent, Handel), forges the indissassociable link between instrumental and vocal writing, giving us wind instruments that sigh and weep and cadenzas that soar like violins (or, in the case of our altos, like violas)? Jordi Savall's Farnace is bold. The more-or-less incomprehensible plot, with its gratuitious secondary love story, is simply the occasion for the music. This is the forgiveness we have to extend to these Venetian operas in order to enter them. When they are graced with such singers as these, the music opens our ear, heart, and mind and lets the trumpet call in. I bought this recording, (full-price!), for its three contralti, Sara Mingardo, Gloria Banditelli, and, my current favorite, Sonia Prina. Ms Mingardo and Ms. Banditelli are long-time heralds of the true contralto in baroque music, but only Ms. Prina, at the ripe old age of 29, makes my heart both thrill and melt. Perhaps less so in this recording than her Aristea in Alessandrini's Olympiade with her incomparably languid force, than here with her Marilyn Horne-worthy coloratura, but as part of this ensemble her major talent announces a great work. I will confess another miscasting in the role of the "Amazone d'Oriente" Berenice in Ms. Fernandez (too sweet for a murderous, tyranical queen! Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totally brilliant Vivaldi June 23 2004
Format:Audio CD
I agree wholeheartedly with reviewer Glidden's very expert review with the sole exception that I am madly in love with Sara Mingardo and although I am basically a soprano-lover, Sara is my absolute favorite Vivaldi singer. You should also purchase La Verità in Cimento, L'Olimpiade and Vespri per l'Assunzione di Maria Vergine. You will be totally convinced of her tremendous ability. The CDs come with an absolutely superb libretto. There is one minor flaw in this whole thing but by no means should you permit it to deter you from purchasing this work. The CDs are actually stored in slip-in jackets which are pages in the libretto. It cannot possibly be beneficial for the CDs to be put in and pulled out of these very tight jackets. Very definitely buy this work and then do yourself a big favor by buying a couple of empty jewel cases and storing the CDs in them as CDs should be stored. It will be well worth the small price (I buy them 3 for about $5).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Requiem for a dead son June 27 2003
By Dr. Peter J. Glidden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Vivaldi's vocal music will, I believe, eventually be adulated on a level approaching Bach's. For those who have labored through the rocky trails of bizarre, overpriced, and obscure recordings of his sacred music, recently revitalized by Robert King and Rinaldo Alessandrini, to name two, his operatic repertoire is a godsend, all the more so since these latter CD's have been favored by truly excellent singers. And no wonder. Who, other than Bach (and, to lesser extent, Handel), forges the indissassociable link between instrumental and vocal writing, giving us wind instruments that sigh and weep and cadenzas that soar like violins (or, in the case of our altos, like violas)? Jordi Savall's Farnace is bold. The more-or-less incomprehensible plot, with its gratuitious secondary love story, is simply the occasion for the music. This is the forgiveness we have to extend to these Venetian operas in order to enter them. When they are graced with such singers as these, the music opens our ear, heart, and mind and lets the trumpet call in. I bought this recording, (full-price!), for its three contralti, Sara Mingardo, Gloria Banditelli, and, my current favorite, Sonia Prina. Ms Mingardo and Ms. Banditelli are long-time heralds of the true contralto in baroque music, but only Ms. Prina, at the ripe old age of 29, makes my heart both thrill and melt. Perhaps less so in this recording than her Aristea in Alessandrini's Olympiade with her incomparably languid force, than here with her Marilyn Horne-worthy coloratura, but as part of this ensemble her major talent announces a great work. I will confess another miscasting in the role of the "Amazone d'Oriente" Berenice in Ms. Fernandez (too sweet for a murderous, tyranical queen! Her photo belies the role 100%) but the blame lies elsewhere than in her voice. The surprises came with Cinzi Forte, aptly named indeed, and her wind-swept mastery, and even more so, Furio Zanasi, whom I have not heard since Rene Jacob's legendary Guilio Cesare (Achilla). His full-throated approach to singing can leave one overwhelmed, but that is desireable here in a man bent with grief for his dead son. His 9:09 minute long aria "Gelido in ogni vena" is beyond the pale, metaphor intended.
There is much to discover in these three disks and Savall's additions from Corselli's version are ultimately enriching. Final note: the set photos are dramatic, baroque, and utterly splendid, making you regret having missed the performance and hoping fervently for its revival.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best opera recordings ever Aug. 14 2004
By R. Rockwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I agree wholeheartedly with the reviewers below. I am relatively new to vocal music and I tend to respond on a wholly emotional level.

Some Baroque operas with lenghty recitives tend to bore me. But Savall and his cast have brought to life even those passages of the opera. The cast was recorded live in a Madrid opera house. Not all live recordings of operas are successful. But Savall and company have left me all atingle an hour after I finished listening.

I realize that two other reviewers have given much more lucid, analytical reviews, but I was just wowed by this recording so much.

I recommend this not just to baroque opera or Vivaldi lovers but as a CD that belongs in every classical music lover's collection.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally brilliant Vivaldi June 23 2004
By Bruce Bogin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I agree wholeheartedly with reviewer Glidden's very expert review with the sole exception that I am madly in love with Sara Mingardo and although I am basically a soprano-lover, Sara is my absolute favorite Vivaldi singer. You should also purchase La Verità in Cimento, L'Olimpiade and Vespri per l'Assunzione di Maria Vergine. You will be totally convinced of her tremendous ability. The CDs come with an absolutely superb libretto. There is one minor flaw in this whole thing but by no means should you permit it to deter you from purchasing this work. The CDs are actually stored in slip-in jackets which are pages in the libretto. It cannot possibly be beneficial for the CDs to be put in and pulled out of these very tight jackets. Very definitely buy this work and then do yourself a big favor by buying a couple of empty jewel cases and storing the CDs in them as CDs should be stored. It will be well worth the small price (I buy them 3 for about $5).
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Vivaldi's operatic masterpiece, massacred, almost Feb. 22 2010
By Bruce L - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It is truly a shame that this, and the recent reissue of the same performance on Naïf, are the only easily obtainable recordings of an opera that, along with his "Orlando Furioso," "Griselda," and his pastiche "Bajazet" ranks easily as one of high points of Vivaldi's creation in this genre. The singing is a bit sloppy in places, but all in all, the singers are not the problem with this recording: The problem is Mr. Savall's "modernization" of Vivaldi's musical concept. With total disregard for not only XVIII century convention, but, more importantly, for what is implied in the music itself, Mr. Savall has given the role of Farnace, originally scored for a female contralto "In travesti" to a male baritone, whose voice can't possibly have the flexibility and silvery brilliance implied by the music. Equally unexplainable, he has replaced some of the recitatives with choral pieces, depriving us of appreciating Vivaldi's exceptional talents as a writer of recitatives. In short, this modernization has deprived us of the possibility of experiencing Vivaldi's masterpiece in anything close to its original form. That the other reviewers have been so positive is a testimonly only to the beauty of Vivaldi's music, which shines through this mutilated version.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Recording Jan. 12 2012
By F. Rupert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought this via MP3 download a few days ago. Having listened it several times, I must concur about the outstanding qualities of the singing. Quite a few baroque opera performances are deficient in the area of making the whole thing a DRAMA through music. Here, the recitative is very fine--ideal, really. The arias are quite fine throughout. For me the highlight of the performance is the 3rd act virtuoso aria "Ti vantasti mio guerriero", featuring brilliant singing by Gloria Banditelli as Selina.

A few extra comments about the acoustic. According to the information available on AliaVoz's website, the recording was assembled from two live performances at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid in 2001. For live performances, the sound is remarkable. It has a mildly reverberant acoustic which suits the music well, only just a bit of stage noises (no clattering hardware, tromping across the stage, etc.), and virtually no audience noise. A very commendable job.

Another review here on Amazon says that the singers turned around from time to time and that the orchestra occasionally drowns them. Interesting--I can hear no such thing. It is true that the part of Farnace is written for a contralto and is sung here by a baritone, but since both voice types are dark, I don't find it too jarring.

Overall, it's excellent. My only gripe is that, as usual with most MP3 opera downloads, there is no literature. Fortunately the Italian libretto of Farnace is available on the web [...]; if you can read Italian you're set. If you can't read Italian, too bad because much searching has not turned up an Italian-English version of the web.
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