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Händel: Arianna in Creta, HWV 32

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 9 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • ASIN: B000E1JOFM
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #76,248 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. Ouverture
2. Sinfonia
3. Recitativo: Egeo, Mio Genitor
4. Sinfonia
5. Recitativo: Qual Presagio Funesto!
6. Aria: Mirami, Altero In Volto
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Recitativo Accompagnato: Oh Patria! Oh Cittadini!/Larghetto: Sol Ristoro Di Mortali
2. Reciativo Accompagnato: Disseratevi, O Porte/Larghetto-Allegro: Lo Ti Tengo/Recitativo: Ah! Che Pur Sogno Ancor!
3. Aria: Salda Quercia In Erta Balza
4. Recitativo: (Alceste E Qui, Si Tenti)
5. Aria: Non Ha Diffesa
6. Recitativo: Il Soccorer Carilda
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Sinfonia
2. Recitativo: Vorrai Dunque, Oh Carilda?
3. Aria: Un Tenero Pensiero
4. Recitativo: Questa Sola Speranza
5. Aria: Par Che Voglia Il Ciel Sereno
6. Accompagnato: Ove Son? Qual Orrore?
See all 15 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e8ed1e0) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea285c0) out of 5 stars Threading the labyrinth Oct. 20 2008
By Peter J. Glidden - Published on Amazon.com
I shall depart from my usual review style - which is mostly stylistic evaluation of the singing - to discuss this obscure recording in greater depth.

As I saw this item on the shelf - and not for the first time - I debated the long-deferred purchase. I knew none of the singers - truly a rarity for me - and all the male roles were sung by women. After two decades of counter-tenor advocacy, today I am much more open to feminine interpretations of castrato roles (I credit Nathalie Stutzmann and Sonia Prina for swinging my vote). Furthermore, not only is this the only recording of this Handel opera I have ever seen for sale, but the same company, with mostly the same singers, also gives us the only recording of another Handel opera, another Attic myth, Orestes. Finally, considering their third Handel offfering, Tamerlano, with its Greek inclusion (Andronico), I smiled to realize that this conductor was making a case for specifically Greek incursion into this composer's Greek incursions. At the end of the day, factoring in this recording's excellent natural acoustics (MDG's signature work) and unreasonably reasonable price tag - $20 for 3 CD's (!!!), led me to take the plunge into the darkness framed by ignorance and lack and buy it.

Arianna in Creta (1733-34) was one of the first operas Handel wrote for his company after all of his singers, with the exception of soprano Anna Maria Strada del Po, departed to the rival Opera of the Nobility. Among the replacements was the castrato Carestini, for whom he later created the role of Ariodante (Philippe Jaroussky performs arias from both of these operas on his tribute disk to this singer under Emmanuelle Haïm's baton). Another interesting cast inclusion was Margherita Durastanti in the mezzo role of Tauride, who performed for Handel in Rome three decades earlier(!) as his prima donna (soprano). For those who follow the under-threads of opera, be they thematic or historical or performer-based, this opera fills in some gaps.

Mata Katsui sings Arianna with perfect "virgin-loveliness" (keeping in mind that Greek virgins kick ass when they need to :) and her voice is both sweet and fierce by turns.

The mezzo role of Teseo (Theseus) is sung by the alarmingly beautiful Mary-Ellen Nesi. Dark and sultry in tone, her coloratura is lightning; think Catherine Robbin and Cecelia Bartoli each donating an egg to create a girl opera child.

The soprano role of Alceste (Hercules) is a theatrical dud, as is his amante, Carilda (written for the singer who later was Bradamante in Alcina) - it's one of those annoying 18th century multiple misunderstandings plot fodder things - but s/he gets the absolutely best aria in the opera, "Son qual stanco Pellegrin" with a lovely cello obbligato such as Vivaldi might have penned. A great 8 minutes that justifies the entire purchase. The role is sung by Theodora Baka who gets the melancholic affect just right and then, moments later, does a bright triumph aria with true glow. A singer to watch....

At the end of this maze I found the following monster: " Arianna" is a hyrid, some recycled arias, some "Handel lite" and some great Handel; some amazing interpretations by women and some heavy-set contralto sounds that displease my ear. In the top world of iTunes, I made my cuts (28 tracks down from 60) and find myself trapped in their loop, caught up in their wings again and again.
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea633e4) out of 5 stars Another Winner from Handel and MDG May 25 2006
By Robert M. Nichols - Published on Amazon.com
Okay. So I'm biased. Handel is my favorite composer. But even if he's not your favorite there are still many reasons to purchase this set of 3 CDs. If you enjoy baroque vocal music. If you enjoy wonderful singing and graceful music. Long, tuneful arias punctuated by brief recitatives. Also the production label for this CD is MDG and the acoustics for their recordings are always top-notch without any sort of soundmodifying manipulation. And how they can produce such a superior recording of 3 CDs for $20 and some change is beyond me. Anyway I'm not a knowledgeable music critic. I just know what I like though I do happen to think I have good taste in music. In my humble opinion music like Handel's is a privileged foretaste of what we will experience in Heaven. That may sound like hyperbole to some but not to those of us who are passionate about baroque music. If you're a seasoned Handel fan you must have this recording. If you're new to the baroque vocal music scene you also must have it. Hurry up and purchase before the good people at MDG come to their senses and double the price!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea63474) out of 5 stars One of the best June 23 2013
By Henry B. Coons - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I've had this CD for a couple of years or more and after many listenings remain fascinated. The CDs by MDG and George Petrou sometimes seem like a repertory company because so many of the roles are by some of my favorite singers (particularly Mary Ellen Nesi),and all that I have heard are very pleasing to me. This CD has the inestimable advantage of a complete libretto in Italian and English. With a little note taking (putting information from the front to the back of the liner notes) it is possible to easily follow the whole thing in detail without having to pay very much attention to exactly where you are. Altogether this is one of my very favorite CDs.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea639cc) out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful. The singing of 'Se nei bosco resta solo' ... Feb. 8 2015
By Kiwimezzo - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Absolutely beautiful. The singing of 'Se nei bosco resta solo' sung by Mata Katsuli as Arianna, abandoned at the entrance to the Labyrinth, is heart-rending. Her top notes are exquisite. I have heard this artist performing other works, but none better than this. Superb singing from the rest of the cast and immaculate playing and interpretation from the Orchestra of Patras under the sensitive baton of George Petrou.