Antonio Vivaldi: Farnace Box set, Import
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|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
|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
|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
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
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.