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Bajazet (Bonus Dvd)

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Product Details

Disc: 1
1. Allegro
2. Andante Molto
3. Allegro
4. Recitativo: Prence Lo So: Vi Devo
5. Aria: Del Destin Non Dee Lagnarsi
6. Recitativo: Non Si Perda Di Vista
7. Aria: Nasce Rosa Lusinghiera
8. Recitativo: Principe, Or Ora I Greci
9. Aria: In Si Torbida Procella
10. Recitativo: Il Tartaro Ama Asteria
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Recitativo: Ah, Disperato Andronico!
2. Aria: La Sorte Mia Spietata
3. Recitativo: Signor, Vergine Illustre
4. Aria: Cruda Sorte, Avverso Fato!
5. Recitativo: Senti, Chiunque Tu Sia
6. Aria: La Cervetta Timidetta
7. Recitativo: Gran Cose Espone Asteria
8. Aria: Sposa, Son Disprezzata
9. Recitativo: Dov'e Mia Figlia, Andronico?
10. Aria: Dov'e La Figla?
See all 27 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 26 reviews
55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
One Bajazet to Rule Them All Sept. 29 2005
By Akimon Azuki - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is a Bajazet to end all Bajazets and Tamerlanes. The score is first class- Vivaldi wrote some of his most inspired and beautiful music for this one and then wisely borrowed several great pieces from Broschi and others. The story is garbled garbage, but it serves the glorious music just perfect. The orchestra playing has spectacular urgency and flow and all of this is served in a recording of amazing quality- the sound engineers deserve a heap of golden sun medals.

The vocal superstars of this recording fire on all cylinders- there's enough energy in the fast arias to power up a small city, while the slow ones are just as intense.

The standouts? Hard to pick any, everything is that good, but my favourite at the moment is Garanca's Non ho nel sen costanza; Arcangelo's Dove la figlia and Genaux' Qual guerriero are the most vibrant. Vivica outdoes herself in this aria's ornamentations- the writing is already so dense, it seems impossible to actually put any extra notes in there, yet she does that and how! And all this while taking it at even greater speed that she did on her Arias for Farinelli album and with laser point accuracy.

I really did not expect such operatic splendor from Biondi. So far I only associated him with instrumental music, including a horrible rendition of Four Seasons, which I got to know from a most campy music video I saw on TV- it featured a fair maiden in a flowing romantic cloak trashing around a forest, no less- but if Bajazet is a sign of things to come, Biondi and the gang should quit all other gigs and stick to doing as many Baroque operas as possible.

Last but not least the fabulous DVD that comes with this release shows the artists hard at work but definitely enjoying themselves immensely in the process; it seems that the arias are not recorded in one take, given that Daniels appears in several different t-shirts in one video, but it's great to see the whole shapely group- Ildebrando looking most fit- going through the workout of some of the more acrobatic pieces. Ciofi does a great face in her video and if we ever had an Oscar for Best Snarl While Doing Impossible Runs, Vivica Genaux would be it.

Five stars and counting- best record of the year so far!
66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
Incredibly Beautiful June 3 2005
By Paul Van de Water - Published on
Format: Audio CD
If you're a fan of Vivica Genaux or David Daniels, or if you're a devote of Handel's operas, you'll love Bajazet. In fact, it's based on the same libretto as Handel's Tamerlano (although the texts of the arias appear to be different). Up to now, I've never found Vivaldi's operas very appealing. Even conductor Fabio Biondi calls many of them "boring." (Gramophone, May 2005) In contrast, Biondi terms Bajazet Vivaldi's "best opera score." I bought Bajazet on impulse after hearing a portion of it being played in a local music store and have been absolutely captivated. It's full of baroque vocal pyrotechnics, beautifully performed by singers and instrumentalists alike. Although it all sounds effortless on the CDs, the accompanying DVD gives one a feel for the skill required. The opening three-movement sinfonia is also top-notch Vivaldi. If you're at all tempted to buy this album, don't resist.

Addendum (1/2012): This recording has been reissued as Vivaldi: Bajazet (2 CD/DVD).
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
You will never tire of this recording- the Best of 2005 Sept. 25 2005
By cherubino - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I have read some frivolous carping regarding this fine, spendid recording. So what if the plot is garbage? We're talking about two CDs full of some the most ornate and varied baroque arias that you can ever hope to hear. If Vivaldi misses some of the counterpoint that works so well for Handel, Bajazet does not suffer for wont of it. If you don't like what you see on the bonus DVD, well, hey, they threw it in for free. If nothing else, it answers the essential question of how Vivica Genaux is able to sing Qual Guerriero di Campo Armato.

Being a pasticcio (pastiche) opera, we are treated to a stunning array of arias, that are lightening fast, slow and stately, pensive, jubilant, and in all cases opulent. Very few operas of this period can boast of such wealth of fine music that each character gets to sing at least two or three first-rate arias!

As glorious as the music is, Virgin Classics ups the ante by assembling one of the finest ensembles in recorded operatic history, in my opinion. What is most notable is that David Daniels is the sole countertenor, while there are three sizzling mezzos- Genaux, Marjanovic, and Garancia (forgive me if I misspelled the last two names). Genaux gets to sing the most ornate and dizzying aria of the whole opera, and thus top billing, but the other two mezzos hold their own. Marjanovic is a force to be reckoned with. She goes for broke, and proves that the has the goods to do so. The final aria of the first disc is an example of her powerful voice and technique. However, she also sings the most intimate and elegaic aria, La Cervetta Timidetta. I was and am spellbound by this aria, which is wonderfully restrained and heart-rendering. Garancia has a voice that is very harmonious, and a possesses a clean technique. Her bottom register will only grow richer as her voice ripens and matures. Her technique is best featured on Spesso, Tra Vaghe Rose. For someone so young, she exhibits fine discipline and taste in her singing.

The other lady of the set, Patrizia Ciofi, is another strong asset. One reviewer wrote that she isn't given much to do here. Idapse does have less music to sing, but Ciofi doesn't let that deter her. Nascia Rosa Lusinghiera is a gem- her voice scintillates, and one pictures a rose in full bloom, with droplets of fresh dew. Drew Minter, a countertenor who writes reviews for Opera News, stated that she sounds covered at time. Perhaps so, but she is dazzling nonetheless. Anche Il Mar Par Che Sommerga is one of the very best arias of the whole opera, and Ciofi does it justice. Listen to her rapid passagework, that is never bumpy or throaty. It will bring a smile to your face. As a final word, this aria was first recorded by Cecilia Bartoli, on her Vivaldi album. Believe me, Bartoli has nothing on Ciofi, at least in this particular case. Bartoli's treatment is too menacing and throaty.

David Daniels is a singer that I don't always admire. On some recordings, his middle voice sounds muddled, and his coloratura technique suspect. As Rinaldo, he sings Cara Sposa well, but can't quite get his hands on Venti Turbidi. Thankfully, Vivaldi's Tamerlano is well within his grasp, and he sings each aria wonderfully. He is widely praised for his interpretative ability and gift for turning a phrase. Cruda Sorte is a prime example, blinding in intensity. I can't imagine any other countertenor usurping Daniels here. The aria with the most bravura is Barbaro Traditor, and Daniels never lets the quicker tempo faze him.

Finally, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo is not only fine to look at, but a fine singer. There is nothing about his voice or technique that I don't like. He suits the role well. His first aria is my favorite, but Dov'e La Figlia is also enthralling.

Finally, hats off to Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante. The sounds is also clear, fresh, and tasteful.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Great music and recording! Dec 11 2005
By someone - Published on
Format: Audio CD
We speculate about prices or something else many times on these pages. But when I listening this recording, -actually like many other recordings-, I feel that, we are so lucky because we have these stunning, wonderful, marvellous musics,interpreters and also recording labels.And this music can not measure with money or something else. This is art.
Bajazet is a luxurous opera which shines with absolute musical beauty. Ýt is also powerful work. Listen, for example, track 11 on first cd, Elina Garanca's "Quel ciglio vezzosetto". Perhaps you shed tears while listening. And such a voice! Thanks to you Mrs.Garanca! And you should admire Marijana Mijanovic' great interpretations.
Try also, "La verita in cimento"(opus 111)This is a marveollus work too. And we have great voices: Gemma Bertagnolli, Sara Mingardo, Philippe Jaroussky. Viva Vivaldi!
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Stellar Cast in Peak Performance of Vivaldi's Opera May 10 2005
By Ed Uyeshima - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is a spectacular recording of an opera that has been given scant attention in the studio except by Cecilia Bartoli in her 1999 Vivaldi Album with her rendition of "Anch'il mar par che sommerga". Aside from Vivaldi aficionados, the 2 ½ hour opera tends to live in the shadow of Handel's masterful "Tamerlano", which tells the same story with even more dramatic arcs, and comparisons are inevitable. Vivaldi's work, however, is a "pasticcio", in which he composed all of Bajazet's arias but let other Neapolitan composers write most of everybody else's. The result is a series of wondrous arias that may sometimes over-accommodate the melodramatic storyline, but ironically it brings out the best in the world-class singers included here. In fact, I was so excited by the cast that I had ordered this disc directly from Amazon's subsidiary in France to take advantage of the month-earlier release date there.

The plot focuses on a psychological tug-of-war between Bajazet, the vanquished Ottoman sultan, and Tamerlano, the ego-driven Tartar conqueror. Others are ensnared in their orbit and become victims of their manipulative tactics. Having just seen the documentary, "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room", the plot machinations in "Bajazet" remind me of the shenanigans in any corporate executive suite, as it looks like Ken Lay and Tamerlano have much in common. However, in this piece, there is a comeuppance of sorts as Tamerlano reaches an epiphany rather quickly at the end but not before Bajazet commits suicide. Such a masochistic moment of dark victory would have been lost in lesser hands, but fortunately the extraordinary countertenor David Daniels plays Tamerlano in this recording with elegant fury. In impeccable voice, Daniels makes the most of his four arias, the best of which is "Barbaro Traditor", where he spews his venom at Bajazet in Act III. He is especially expert on the numerous recitatives that tie the narrative together never losing sight of his character's motivations. Bass-baritone Ildebrando D'Arcangelo is not quite in Daniels' league when it comes to dramatic interpretation, but he has a strong voice and makes an effective adversary.

There are three stunning mezzo-sopranos in the cast, and each has impressive coloraturas that complement their characters. Vivica Genaux plays the much-maligned Irene battered by the manipulative actions of the two rulers. She has a beautiful aria toward the end of Act I, "Qual guerriero in campo armato," and a haunting one in Act II, "Sposa, son disprezzata." As Bajazet's daughter Asteria, Marijana Mijanovic has the rich timbre of a countertenor, similar to Bejun Mehta in tone, which she uses to great effect in her peak aria in Act II, "La cervetta timidetta." In the pants role of Andronicus, Elina Garanca does a nice job on her Act III aria, "Spesson tra vaghe rose," though of the three, she is probably the least compelling dramatically. Soprano Patrizia Ciofi doesn't have as much to do here as Idapse, but she has two grand arias earlier in the story. Worth mentioning is a wonderful albeit too brief quartetto with Genaux, Mijanovic, D'Achangelo and Daniels at the end of Act II, always a treat to hear such fine voices intertwine with one another. The performance is led by the always wonderful Fabio Biondi, and his ensemble Europa Galante plays beautifully on period instruments.

Virgin Classics has put together an excellent package for this recording, which includes two audio CDs; a comprehensive booklet that contains the plot synopsis, relevant essays and the complete libretto in three languages; and a half-hour DVD showing each of the six soloists recording an aria with Biondi and his orchestra. The booklet is most educational in providing the historical background, though in the essay on the "The Missing Arias", I was confused by the statement that three of the arias performed are replacements for the original compositions, yet they still contain Vivaldi's text. The DVD is a wonderful extra and a great sampler of the stellar cast in solo turns in the studio. All reveal quite a bit of body language in their performances, which indicated how much they get into character when singing even in their street clothes. Some are more camera-savvy than others, as you will witness some individual gesticulations that would be less tolerable on a public stage. I only wish they included interviews or even some camera-ready scholar to discuss the work itself. Regardless, what a treat it is to have a visual accompaniment to the masterful performance recorded here. Strongly recommended.