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Hasse: Cleofide / Christie, Kirkby, Mellon, Wong


Release Date: 01/27/2009 
Label:  Phoenix Edition   Catalog #: 178   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Emma KirkbyDerek Lee RaginRandall K WongDavid Cordier,   ... 
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella ColoniensisRheinische Kantorei
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


This release presents about 78 of the original 231 minutes contained on the 4-CD set that appeared on the Capriccio label in 1988. The original set's release was a real ear-opener--certainly the first recorded complete opera by Hasse (1699-1783, roughly contemporary with Bach and Handel) and possibly, outside of Mozart's and Handel's, the first opera seria to receive a complete recording. (It is based on Metastasio, has the same characters as Handel's Poro, and concerns Alexander the Great.) I thought at the time that while Hasse might not be the equal of either Mozart or Handel, it was easy to understand why he was in fact the most popular opera composer of his time in Italy, Germany, and Austria:
Read more his melodies, whether lachrymose, triumphant, or of the simile variety ("My emotions are as a storm-tossed ship"), are catchy and entertaining, and if performed with the virtuosity with which they were composed, capture the ear and imagination.

I listened over and over again to the original CDs, fascinated by the six high voices, four of which are men's and all of which are capable of executing long, complicated coloratura as well as handsome melodies. Nowadays, those singers seem a dime a dozen, but they were rare then--and they're still a joy to listen to.

Emma Kirkby sings the title role (composed for Hasse's wife, Faustina Bordoni, who was one of Handel's star singers in London), and it is possible that a more dramatic sound was wished for--but most of her music is of the tragic, "why me?" variety (she is innocent of the infidelity of which her husband, Poro, suspects her) and she sings it with beautiful tone and great introspection. Male alto Dominique Visse sings Alessandro, and here he dazzles with his seven-minute aria in which he compares himself to a wounded stag, accompanied by wonderfully played hunting horns. Poro is alto Derek Lee Ragin, with a more ferocious sound, who almost hectors his poor wife to distraction, often with long-breathed runs. Male soprano Randall Wong sounds exactly like a woman--and a very gifted one--as Gandarte, Poro's friend; David Cordier's grainy alto is good for the general, Timagenes; and Agnes Mellon as Poro's sister Erissena is wonderfully feminine. William Christie and the Capella Coloniensis are superb.

I wish this had been a 2-CD set of extracts; out of the 30-plus arias in the original, we only get nine, plus the overture, a march, duet, and final chorus. Still, if you don't own or want (or can't find) the original four-CD set, this is a delightful chunk of music, stunningly performed.

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Cleofide: Overture by Johann Adolf Hasse
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 48 Secs. 
2.
Cleofide: Che sorte crudele by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Emma Kirkby (Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 5 Secs. 
3.
Cleofide: Vedrai con tuo periglio by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Derek Lee Ragin (Countertenor)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
4.
Cleofide: Marcia deg'l Indiani by Johann Adolf Hasse
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
5.
Cleofide: Se mai più saro geloso by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Derek Lee Ragin (Countertenor), Emma Kirkby (Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 31 Secs. 
6.
Cleofide: Appena amor sen nance by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Randall K Wong (Countertenor)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 45 Secs. 
7.
Cleofide: E ver che a l'amo intorno by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  David Cordier (Countertenor)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 2 Secs. 
8.
Cleofide: Poro mio dolce amor by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Agnès Mellon (Soprano), Emma Kirkby (Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
9.
Cleofide: Se costa tante pene Amor a la beltà by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Agnès Mellon (Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 0 Secs. 
10.
Cleofide: Son qual misera Colomba by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Emma Kirkby (Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 8 Secs. 
11.
Cleofide: Cervo al bosco by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Dominique Visse (Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 10 Secs. 
12.
Cleofide: Dov'e? si affretti by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Derek Lee Ragin (Countertenor)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Length: 3 Minutes 31 Secs. 
13.
Cleofide: Secondate, o gran Numi by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Emma Kirkby (Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 0 Minutes 34 Secs. 
14.
Cleofide: Perder l'amato bene by Johann Adolf Hasse
Performer:  Emma Kirkby (Soprano)
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 12 Secs. 
15.
Cleofide: Al nostro consolo by Johann Adolf Hasse
Conductor:  William Christie
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rheinische Kantorei,  Cappella Coloniensis
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Dresden, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 

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