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The Vivaldi Edition Operas


Release Date: 11/18/2008 
Label:  Naive   Catalog #: 30470   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Manuela CusterMarianna PizzolatoMartin OroSonia Prina,   ... 
Conductor:  Alessandro De MarchiOttavio DantoneJean-Christophe SpinosiFederico Maria Sardelli,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academia Montis RegalisTurin Teatro Regio ChorusAccademia Bizantina,   ... 
Number of Discs: 28 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  


Notes and Editorial Reviews

Since 2001, beginning with Juditha Triumphans, eight operas by Vivaldi have been released in the Vivaldi Edition, each one an event, either the first complete recording (or the first recording!) by first-rate conductors, soloists and orchestras specializing in Baroque. Acclaimed by the press (numerous awards), and by the public (more than 150,000 copies sold since 2001), these recordings have succeeded at last in rehabilitating Antonio Vivaldi, known always for his brilliant concertos, as one of the greatest operatic composers of all time.

Now here is a truly exceptional event: the first boxed set comprising nine complete operas by Vivaldi –- the eight published so far in the Vivaldi Edition, plus Farnace, which was recorded
Read more on Alia Vox by Jordi Savall. 27 CDs in all, plus a bonus DVD!

L'Orlando finto pazzo, RV 727:

"This is Vivaldi's second opera...in 1714, the same year that his amazing set of 12 violin concertos called "La stravaganza" appeared. Already known as a knockout composer for violin, Vivaldi clearly had no intention of disappointing those who admired him for his string writing just because he was becoming a composer of operas--and anyone listening to Orlando finto pazzo will have to notice the virtuoso string playing in addition to the outrageous demands made on the singers. Argillano's first aria, sung with amazing speed and subtlety by mezzo Manuela Custer, ends with a violin cadenza that's so remarkable that the audience at the time must have been left (as we are) breathless. The next aria, for Grifone (countertenor Martin Oro), is accompanied only by mellow pizzicato strings that seem almost like subconscious movements as the singer quickly and deftly describes a bee flitting from flower to flower, making honey... [T]he singing and string playing is of such grand virtuoso quality... Listening in one sitting is a mistake--all those roulades can cause dizziness." -- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com [from a review of Naive 30392]

Juditha triumphans, RV 645:

"Vivaldi’s only surviving oratorio‚ Juditha triumphans (1716)‚ with its strongly characterised roles and luxuriant orchestration‚ is a true Baroque masterpiece... Alessandro de Marchi has departed from other recent interpreters by daring to transpose the tenor and bass choral parts up an octave‚ as is widely believed was done by Vivaldi himself to accommodate the choir of the Pietà. The effect is breathtaking: the compressed‚ female choral textures positively gleam... The instrumentation offers a veritable treasure trove of unusual and evocative instruments‚ even for the time: a pair of clarinets to characterise the dissolute Assryian soldiers‚ recorders for ‘nocturnal breezes’ and a quartet of theorbos to depict the preparation of the feast. For Judith there is a chalumeau imitating a turtledove‚ a viola d’amore‚ a mandoline and a contemplative consort of ‘viole all’inglese’ to accompany her prayers; for Holofernes there is a solo oboe... Congratulations all round for an outstanding recording. Let’s hope that another Vivaldi oratorio turns up soon!" -- Gramophone [from a review of Naive 30314]

Tito Manlio, RV 738:

"...[A] remarkable work, particularly so when you discover that it was written in five days... Bass Nicola Ulivieri's Tito is potent and commanding, as convincing when angry as when miserably condemning his son to death. Soprano Karina Gauvin's Manlio is ideally sung and acted; her technique is sound and her involvement, particularly in the recitatives, is thorough. Her reading of "Ti lascerai gli affetti miei" in the last act, with its muted oboes and bassoons, is stunning--and what a marvelous, mournful sound those winds make!... Marijana Mijanovic's Vitellia is terrific--she really knows how to get mad--and her ease with coloratura, coupled with a unique timbre, gives her impersonation great character. Her second-act "Grida quell sangue", a vengeance aria, is startling. Anne Hallenberg's Servilia has one of the score's most haunting arias--"Tu dormi in tante pene", with a viola d'amore obbligato that is truly troubling in its acidity..." -- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com [from a review of Naive 30413]

La verità in cimento, RV 739:


"La verita in cimento ("Truth put to the test"), dating from 1720, is a superb, stageworthy work... The arias, alternating between sparkling, introspective, and ironic, are all suitably embellished by singers and players. Gemma Bertagnolli sings the flighty Rosane's music vividly... The outrageously low tessitura for Damira is superbly handled by Nathalie Stutzmann... The always wonderful Sara Mingardo (where would Baroque opera be without her?) is fierce as Melindo... A trio, 'Aure placide e serene,' in which rival half brothers and Rosane, the woman they both love, express their mixed feelings...is as beautiful as Cosi fan tutte's famous 'Soave sia il vento,' and I suspect we'll never hear it more ravishingly performed. Sonics are just about perfect--clean, clear, and crisp. This opera and recording offer spectacular surprises." -- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com [from a review of Naive 30365]

Orlando furioso, RV 728:

"Orlando Furioso, the latest offering in Naive's admirable Vivaldi Edition, is a rewarding mid-career example of the composer's operatic gifts. Insinuating melodies, voluptuous ornamentation, churning orchestral passages, vigorous short choruses and beguiling lyrical stretches create the propulsive high contrasts in this treatment of Ariosto's eventful poem. . . . Jean-Christophe Spinosi elicits a spirited reading of the score from his Ensemble Matheus." -- Steven Winn, San Francisco Chronicle [from a review of Naive 30393]

L'Atenaide, RV 702:

"...Indeed this is one of the more successful and pleasing opera recordings from an already celebrated series. The singing is consistently excellent – but then it should be with some of the world’s most accomplished and celebrated Baroque and Vivaldi specialists… All of these sing (and indeed perform: the sense of drama doesn’t let up for a moment) with conviction, excitement and passion that it seems would be hard to better. Sandrine Piau is in full command at all times; listen to her ‘Son colpevole a’ tuoi lumi’… passion, control, flair, judgement. Guillemette Laurens (Pulcheria) sings with an almost boisterous enthusiasm... [E]very word is clear, every nuance communicated... The ensemble Modo Antiquo is splendid – clear, clean, expressive of every turn in emotion throughout the opera. The conducting is brisk yet sensitive and the feeling of something special yet easily attained in the way the whole is conceived and executed is exemplary. True this will be unfamiliar music to most. Nevertheless, it’s vintage Vivaldi and deserves just this kind of performance. Nothing is missing. Nothing superfluous added." -- Mark Sealey, MusicWeb International [from a review of Naive 30438]

Il Farnace, RV 711:

"...The playing by Savall's musicians is amazingly beautiful throughout--warm, expressive, and as songful as the singing--and the engineers have captured a lovely ambience from Madrid's Teatro de la Zarzuela... [H]ere we have a stunning, sincere Tamiri in the person of the fine artist Sara Mingardo; contralto Sonia Prina's wonderfully dusky Pompeo (this role also was probably cast for castrato, and Prina sounds manly); and baritone Fulvio Bettini's weighty addition to the short role of Aquilius... [T]his is a superb achievement." -- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com [from a review of Naive 30471]

L'Olimpiade, RV 725:

"...The performance is first rate, with Rinaldo Alessandrini leading his Concerto Italiano with verve and the type of clean attacks that this rambling plot requires. The secret is to make each recitative and aria an event, and he knows how to achieve just that. Most of the arias are scored for strings alone (in different formations) but there's never a sameness; when the winds show up they're very effective. Most of the arias are short--unlike those in many other Vivaldi operas--and tend to be allegro or faster; the action seems quicker than it is. Sara Mingardo as Licida almost walks away with the show; her stunning contralto is used with grace and power and she gives us this character's many facets. Laura Giordano's pretty, light soprano gets through the showpiece 'Siam navi all'onde' in Act 2 with incredible ease and virtuosity... Roberta Invernizzi is a strong, noble Megacle...and Sonia Prina sings Aristea's pretty, nice-girl music with radiant mid-range tone... Vivaldi and/or Baroque opera fans will need no coaxing to buy this set; others might have to work a bit getting used to the format. But I doubt this performance will be bettered." -- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com [from a review of Naive 30316]

Griselda, RV 718:


"...This performance is sublime. Jean-Christophe Spinosi leads a dramatically taut reading, with his period-instrument Ensemble Matheus underpinning the vocal theatrics with snap and a huge range of dynamics all its own. Often Vivaldi writes for obbligato instruments to accompany the voice; here Spinosi allows embellishments for the players as well as the singers, and each aria becomes an event in itself... Philippe Jaroussky's countertenor Roberto is well formed and beautifully sung; he can caress a vocal line with great tenderness. Stefano Ferrari, a tenor new to me, has a nice grain to his voice and he sings King Gualtiero tellingly. His asides, in which he bemoans how badly he's treating his wife, are subtly delivered and his singing as pure singing is astonishing: just listen to the bizarre sextuplets in his opening aria. Rounding out the perfect cast is another countertenor, Iestyn Davies, as Corrado, whose robust sound is very unlike Jaroussky's. The sound, booklet notes, and translations are first rate. In case I haven't made this clear enough: Go out and buy this; it's a feast for the ears." -- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com [from a review of Naive 30419]
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Works on This Recording

1. L'Orlando finto pazzo, RV 727 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Manuela Custer (Mezzo Soprano), Marianna Pizzolato (Mezzo Soprano), Martin Oro (Countertenor),
Sonia Prina (Alto), Marina Comparato (Mezzo Soprano), Gemma Bertagnolli (Soprano),
Antonio Abete (Bass)
Conductor:  Alessandro De Marchi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academia Montis Regalis,  Turin Teatro Regio Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1714; Venice, Italy 
2. Juditha triumphans, RV 644 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Magdalena Kozená (Mezzo Soprano), Maria José Trullu (Alto), Marina Comparato (Mezzo Soprano),
Anke Herrmann (Soprano), Tiziana Carraro (Soprano)
Conductor:  Alessandro De Marchi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academia Montis Regalis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1716; Italy 
3. Tito Manlio, RV 738 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Barbara Di Castri (Mezzo Soprano), Marijana Mijanovic (Alto), Christian Senn (Bass Baritone),
Debora Beronesi (Soprano), Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano), Karina Gauvin (Soprano),
Nicola Ulivieri (Tenor), Mark Milhofer (Tenor)
Conductor:  Ottavio Dantone
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Accademia Bizantina
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1719; Italy 
4. La verità in cimento, RV 739 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor), Gemma Bertagnolli (Soprano), Philippe Jaroussky (Countertenor),
Guillemette Laurens (Soprano), Sara Mingardo (Alto), Nathalie Stutzmann (Alto)
Conductor:  Jean-Christophe Spinosi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Matheus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720; Venice, Italy 
5. Orlando furioso, RV 728 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Blandine Staskiewicz (Mezzo Soprano), Jennifer Larmore (Mezzo Soprano), Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano),
Lorenzo Regazzo (Bass), Veronica Cangemi (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto),
Philippe Jaroussky (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Jean-Christophe Spinosi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Elements Chamber Choir,  Ensemble Matheus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
6. L'Atenaide, RV 702 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Paul Agnew (Tenor), Vivica Genaux (Mezzo Soprano), Romina Basso (Mezzo Soprano),
Guillemette Laurens (Soprano), Sandrine Piau (Soprano), Nathalie Stutzmann (Alto),
Stefano Ferrari (Tenor)
Conductor:  Federico Maria Sardelli
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Modo Antiquo Ensemble
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1728; Italy 
7. Il Farnace, RV 711 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Fulvio Bettini (Baritone), Sonia Prina (Alto), Furio Zanasi (Baritone),
Gloria Banditelli (Mezzo Soprano), Adriana Fernández (Soprano), Cinzia Forte (Soprano),
Sara Mingardo (Alto)
Conductor:  Jordi Savall
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Concert des Nations
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1727; Venice, Italy 
8. L'Olimpiade, RV 725 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Sergio Foresti (Bass), Laura Giordano (Soprano), Marianna Kulikova (Mezzo Soprano),
Riccardo Novaro (Baritone), Sonia Prina (Alto), Sara Mingardo (Alto)
Conductor:  Rinaldo Alessandrini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Italiano
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1734; Venice, Italy 
9. Griselda, RV 718 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Philippe Jaroussky (Countertenor), Stefano Ferrari (Tenor), Veronica Cangemi (Soprano),
Iestyn Davies (Countertenor), Simone Kermes (Soprano), Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Alto)
Conductor:  Jean-Christophe Spinosi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Matheus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1735; Venice, Italy 

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