WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Monteverdi: L'incoronazione Di Poppea / Bolton, Et Al

Release Date: 02/22/2007 
Label:  Farao   Catalog #: 108020   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Anna Caterina AntonacciJohn TollClaes H. AhnsjöDorothea Röschmann,   ... 
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra members
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This masterpiece--arguably one of the greatest operas ever penned--has done quite well on recordings. Since the autograph score doesn't exist (what does exist are the sources of performances given in Naples eight years after the premiere) the instrumentation is left up to the conductor/arranger. My first contact with Poppea was through Nikolaus Harnoncourt's 1974 Teldec (then Telefunken) set, in which he augmented the strings and added winds and brass--all authentic instruments, of course--and the effect was brilliant. His cast was near-ideal as well. Since then Poppea recordings have come and gone, countertenor Neros are all the rage, and slimmed down orchestration--almost to continuo only--is perfectly acceptable. In 1990 Richard Hickox Read more led a lean but mean performance on Virgin Classics and now conductor Ivor Bolton follows suit--and more effectively, I might add. Using only five string players and a barrage of continuo instruments--lute, guitar, harp, two harpsichords, organ, chitarrone, and viola da gamba--he still manages to generate some real fire in this nasty, amoral tale, and he's handsomely abetted by his cast.

Both Anna Caterina Antonacci and (countertenor) David Daniels are fearless as Poppea and Nero; purists may argue that they employ more vibrato and lean on notes in a very un-pre-Baroque fashion, but who cares? They present us with portraits of these two holy terrors that are unforgettable. Similarly, Kurt Moll's big-scale Seneca is thrilling in its nobility and morality--two traits that get the character killed, by the way. Dominique Visse sings the travesty role of Poppea's nurse, Arnalta, and he is by turns wildly campy and tender (in the lullaby), just as he should be. Alex Köhler's Ottone is nicely sniveling, Nadja Michael offers an Ottavia to reckon with and feel for, and Dorothea Röschmann gives Drusilla more energy than most and it's truly alluring. And high praise also must be given to boy soprano Klaus von Gleissenthal's Amor--a colorful, right on-pitch, realistically acted portrayal. Bolton's pacing is ideal and his band cannot be praised highly enough. Fabulous!
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

L'Incoronazione di Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi
Performer:  Anna Caterina Antonacci (Soprano), John Toll (Harpsichord), Claes H. Ahnsjö (Tenor),
Dorothea Röschmann (Soprano), Jennifer Trost (), Caroline Maria Petrig (Soprano),
Klaus Von Gleissenthal (), Axel Köhler (Alto), Christian Baumgartel (),
Ivor Bolton (Harpsichord), John Toll (Organ), Christina Pluhar (Harp),
Nadja Michael (Mezzo Soprano), Fred Jacobs (Theorbo), Kurt Moll (Bass),
Friederike Heumann (Viola da gamba), Paula Chateauneuf (Guitar), David Daniels (Countertenor),
Dominique Visse (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Ivor Bolton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra members
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1642; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 07/1997 
Venue:  Live  Munich Opera Festival 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title