14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Robert M. Nichols
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This CD was released in 2002 and I find it hard to believe no one has reviewed it before now. I've just finished listening to it for the first time and was stuck by the elegance and gracefulnes of the music. I suppose that's why we love Baroque music so much. It is among the most refined music ever written equaling, if not surpassing, the Classical age. And Alan Curtis is conducting his Il Complesso Barocco so that should tip would-be-listeners off right away that it will be a quality product. I mean he's won three awards since 2002 for his interpretations of Handel operas. But back to Il Giustino. For what a layman's opinion is worth the singing on these two CDs is superb and the constuction and performance of the arias is complex without being inaccessaible. What I mean is the music is wonderfully inventive, constantly opening new vistas of sound and then ingeniously resolving them. The recitatives are thankfully brief. In short your ears will tingle with delight for quite a while after you've finished this opera. And I rarely say that upon only one listening. I can't wait till my second time and third and so on! Don't hesitate. Support baroque opera and treat yourself at the same time!!
P.S. Part of the opera was performed live on October 8, 2001 in Rotterdam and part in the studio the next day. Yet the acoustics in the opera house are so great you won't be able to tell which part is which!
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Just one rather quirky line of tack for this review; I'll avoid the more technical verbiage I give on others I've rated, because this is funny! (sort of).
WOW! I couldn't have sung it better myself! And I'm pretty sure, I was in Vivaldi's choir in a previous life, so I would know, when and where, he would want improvements! Pretty much none to be found here; if I said there was just one thing Vivaldi would wanted fixed, would you want to know? (no) Read on ... its a funny review, right?
OK - so after buying and listening to this CD, I've had stupid-dreams about it. In them, I'm ALWAYS getting reamed out during practices in some large cathedral hall by "the conductor man" (Viv) himself. "Too loud, volume DOWN, Katrin-not-in-the-middle-for-this-one, You are an Outer (a flank singer) this time!" And - such gems as - "Do I have to say, AGAIN ... You are ALTO - and this piece is for the SOPRANO! Quieter now; LET THE MIDDLE BE HEARD!"
And I always answer, throwing something I can't quite see (the score?) on the groud, "But I CAN'T sing quieter, and still stay on Key! You know that!"
"Yes you can; I think you didn't practice very much? WHAT??!!! Before a STAGE rehearsal. Always, at the last minute, Katrin?" (they say that to me in this lifetime too - I'm in science this time, I don't sing all that well) "I gave you SIX MONTHS to learn this one, didn't I!? How much time do you need to learn a piece!?"
Now I'm insulted. "But I DID practice, SO MUCH! I know it perfectly"
"Except for the sound emphasis marks! Did you TRY to sing softly? "
Now I'm properly chagrined, for a paid singer. "No ... (shuffle shuffle) ... I din't ... It was too bouncy a piece, I always practiced loud ..." (slink slink slink off to the side)
"Very well then. Places ... Others: ignore! (smack smack with the conductors wand) "Again, from mark two in bar 5 (what? can't we start at an easier spot?) "Jetz! und, Loss!"
Anyways, that's my nightscape dream recollections since buying this CD. I'll say, with some authority, this performance would have pleased the littie man (he's short, in my dreams at least) ... beautiful choral work! (And great "bringing out of the middle singers" (the soloists and their 2nd singer support) by the conductor. Way to go, Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco! Got more in the works?
Oh - Viv just clocked in to my mindscape and said I was wrong to pretend he hears anything wrong with it - he says it is Performance Perfect. (ta - there you go!) Now what! Can you imagine anything worse than to be plagued by ghosts of bosses from past lives? Actually that was pretty cool... Hi Viv! (he detests name shortenings!) Ha!
In summary - if you are looking for high-quality, easy to digest introduction Baroque at its most elegant (or) if you are already an expert looking to flesh out your collection, buy it. This beautifully and energetically performed, well-mastered and perfectly engineered performance will fit not dissapoint. As to the price, its 2 FULL (long) CD's - and you'll play it many times. Worth it.