29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Lorenzo Regazzo is the perfect Vivaldi bass. His coloratura technique is breathtaking - precise and fiery. His expression is feverishly passionate. His voice - sensuous, resonant, and pleasantly "covered", creates a bel canto illusion of a whole range of human sounds from an angry growl to moans and whispers, all shockingly beautiful. Regazzo's vocal ornaments are elegant and thoughtfully composed to fit both music and word. In short, very few modern singers are virtuosic enough to do this enchanting music such justice.
Notably, all aspects of Regazzo's virtuosity seem to be put entirely to the service of theatre, rendering the text believable. I have never heard such unboring recitatives before! In all the pieces the singer varies his ravishing frowning sound in his very engaging way to show conflicting sides of each character. Anger, strength as well as pathos and vulnerability are all delightfully audible. This way he turns roles into real human beings, which is a rare merit among baroque opera performers.
The album gives some room to the instrumental pieces. The orchestra (Concerto Italiano under Rinaldo Alessandrini) seems to create a very flowing but articulated atmospheric or maybe architectural background which the voice emerges from and disappears into. The music, as Regazzo notes in the booklet, feels inspired by Venice - and it shows on this recording especially, I think. The album also has a very theatrical quality partly due to the singer's style and partly because each aria is preceded with a recitative (which also nicely places the arias in context). The mood of the texts of the vocal selections is mostly somber, but the inherent optimism of Vivaldi's music, the gutsy, bright playing of the orchestra, and Regazzo's voice at once spirited, virile and full of longing makes the melancholy delicious and completely life-affirming.
This CD is great for any opera fan, and in my opinion it's a must for anyone interested in Baroque/Rococo vocal music.
Includes a String Concerto (rv 162) and arias from operas:
Armida al campo d'Egitto; Tito Manlio ; Orlando Furioso (the mad scene is amazing!); Semiramide; Il Farnace (beautiful Gelido in ogni vena); La Silvia; L'Adelaide; L'Olimpiade.
1. Armida Al Campo D'Egitto, Rv699-A : Allegro
2. Armida Al Campo D'Egitto, Rv699-A : ...
3. Armida Al Campo D'Egitto, Rv699-A : Allegro
4. Armida Al Campo D'Egitto, Rv699-A : Recitativo
5. Armida Al Campo D'Egitto, Rv699-A : Chi Alla Colpa
6. Tito Manlio, Rv738-A : Recitativo
7. Tito Manlio, Rv738-A : Se Il Cor Guerriero
8. Orlando Furioso, Rvanh84 : Recitativo
9. Orlando Furioso, Rvanh84 : Nel Profondo, Cieco Mondo
10. Orlando Furioso, Rvanh84 : Ah Sleale, Ah Spergiura
11. Orlando Furioso, Rvanh84 : Io Ti Getto Elmo, Ed Usbergo
12. Semiramide, Rv733 : Con La Face Di Megera
13. Il Farnace, Rv711-D : ...
14. Il Farnace, Rv711-D : Andante
15. Il Farnace, Rv711-D : ...
16. Il Farnace, Rv711-D : Recitativo
17. Il Farnace, Rv711-D : Gelido In Ogni Vena
18. La Silvia, Rv734 : Terribile E Lo Scempio
19. La Silvia, Rv734 : Recitativo
20. La Silvia, Rv734 : Fiume, Che Torbido
21. String Concerto in B Maj, Rv162 : Allegro
22. String concerto in B Maj, Rv162 : Largo
23. String Concerto in B Maj, Rv162 : Allegro Assai
24. L'Adelaide, Rv695 : Recitativo
25. L'Adelaide, Rv695 : Vincera La Mia Costanza
26. L'Olimpiade, Rv725 : Or Piu Tremar Non Voglio
27. Tito Manlio, Rv738-A : Recitativo
28. Tito Manlio, Rv738-A : Rabbia Che Accendasi
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This collection of bass arias by Lorenzo Regazzo is an absolutely stunning collection of tracks meant to show off the quality of not only the performers but what seems to be a whole new approach by Naïve Classics to recording classical music in the high-def digital age. And for those of us who've grown up with the classical music bug, this represents the most exciting advances in getting the consumers the best products we've seen in ages.
I agree with the first review. I've never heard anything so completely satisfying. Regazzo sings these arias, and sings them with technical precision, the emotion called for within context of the opera it came from, and with drama and gutsy "attitude" one would expect from a rock star. But these performances don't completely belong to the soloist. The Concerto Italiano under Rinaldo Alessandrini are one of the most convincing small ensemble groups I've heard in a while. They've done other recordings on other small labels, but they seem to be hitting their stride with their contributions to the Vivaldi Edition Naïve recordings. Their sound is unique and refreshing. What we get is musicianship that translates into Vivaldi with technical precision, charm,and genuine excitement. They have raised the bar for period instrument groups.
Vivaldi (Handel, Corelli, etc) were rock stars, writing the pop music of their day. Most conductors don't seem to have a good feel for where the melody falls in the orchestration, the difference between the lead, rhythm and bass guitar, so to speak, and what's harmonizing with the sung melody whether it be soloist or chorus. When this happens you get two results. Tempos that don't fit the piece being performed, lack of passion, and musical balance. Alessandrini gets it. He seems to understand these arias, and the other instrumental pieces on the CD, have melodies and melodic hooks (that thing that makes you want to listen to a pop song three times in a row) - and conducts these pieces with toe tapping results. What you hear is something that is actually fun and exciting. Alessandrini leads this orchestra, pulling out finesse (almost sensual at times) that other original instrument groups lack. He and the engineers serve up an experience you want to repeat.
As good as the performers are, half of why these Naïve Vivaldi recordings sound so delicious is the engineering. The vocals are close and warm, but still have a pleasant reverb and presence. I love John Eliot Gardiner's recordings of Handel's oratorios, but lately I've noticed you really can't understand a word they are singing without the libretto. None of that here. The performers diction is clear, and they are miked properly so you understand every word - every syllable. The balance between Regazzo and the orchestra is spot on. The sound stage is open, detailed, and clear as a whistle. The label is onto something. If that isn't enough, they record is 96khz/24 bit audiophile. What that translates to for folks with really good stereo systems is life-like, three-dimensional sound and presence - the next big advancement in recorded sound.
Finally. A word about the packaging. Love, love, love it. I'm sorry. Naïve is a French company. The people that give us wine, pastry, French cooking, and Paris chic and fashion. The models got my attention, and I suppose the company is out to prove that you actually can judge a book by it's cover. This demonstrates a level of design (something in the French do REALLY well) that carries through every detail of what you take out of the box. The look, the sound, the feel. The liner notes are detailed, readable, and as good as what we used to get back in the vinyl days. (I do wish classical labels would start giving us visually challenged folks .pdf files or a web page we could visit to get print large enough to read.) So go ahead, Naïve. You keep putting the models on the covers, giving us booklets we can actually read, and the best Vivaldi recordings on the market. I'll eventually own them all. British invasion? This time, I think France gets a turn.