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Haydn: Armida / Harnoncourt, Bartoli, Concentus Musicus Wien

Release Date: 11/07/2000 
Label:  Teldec   Catalog #: 81108   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Cecilia BartoliChristoph PrégardienPatricia PetibonScot Weir,   ... 
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 9 Mins. 

Imported from : European Union   
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Most opera lovers by now are familiar with Armida and her crew: Handel, Gluck, and any number of other composers were mad over the story of the enchantress and her attempts to lure the hero Rinaldo away from his crusading duties and into her enchanted isle. The form is essentially opera seria, but Haydn was too great a composer to be restricted by its rigidity and therefore gives us scenes in many forms: arioso leading into aria, accompanied recitative leading to big confrontational arias, and more. Nikolaus Harnoncourt, occasionally perversely controversial, here leads a white-hot show (it was taped live in concert and, I presume, doctored a bit in the studio), with the dry recitative nicely trimmed. Cecilia Bartoli, in the title role, has Read more eschewed her whispering here. She can still sing softly but it's less affected and her portrayal is a pip: cajoling and loving one minute and truly pissed off and scary the next. Wow!

Christoph Pregardien's lieder background is both a plus and a minus: he gets into the text like a champ, but I would have liked a slightly beefier sound and approach to Rinaldo. But I carp; he's superb. Patricia Petibon uses her light soprano well and improves as the opera progresses. She's a bit tentative at first but her later, more challenging music is delivered at full throttle. The other two tenors and bass Oliver Widmer are up to their tasks as well, and they show no fear in the face of Harnoncourt's sometimes cruelly aggressive leadership. The Concentus Musicus Wien has never sounded better. There's an old recording of this work led by Antal Dorati with a young Jessye Norman in the title role. This one not only replaces it, but it seems to be an entirely different work. This one is a stunner.
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Armida, H 28 no 12 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli (Mezzo Soprano), Christoph Prégardien (Tenor), Patricia Petibon (Soprano),
Scot Weir (Tenor), Oliver Widmer (Baritone), Markus Schäfer (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1783; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 06/2000 
Venue:  Live  Vienna, Austria 

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