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Handel: Partenope / Christian Curnyn, Early Opera Company

Release Date: 06/21/2005 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 719   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Hilary SummersLawrence ZazzoStephen WallaceAndrew Foster-Williams,   ... 
Conductor:  Christian Curnyn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Opera Company
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Italian/English libretto included.

"Partenope is mature Handel, and belongs in the top flight of his stage works. A comedy from 1730, which was first rejected as too frivolous by the Royal Academy of Music in London, the text had been set 20 years earlier by Caldara for an opera that had been a major influence on the young Handel. The tone is light and the action - all disguises and cross-dressing, with everyone ending up with the right partner - is swift moving; there are relatively few extended arias but a number of ensembles, as well as the obligatory sinfonia and march for the battle scene at the beginning of the second act. This performance under Christian Curnyn hits the right spot from the very start. There are no
Read more outstanding performances, but a whole collection of first-rate ones - Rosemary Joshua in the title role of the queen with so many admirers, Hilary Summers as the princess Rosmira, Kurt Streit as Emilio, the one prince who doesn't get the girl. Handel collectors needn't hesitate." - Andrew Clements, Guardian Unlimited
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Works on This Recording

Partenope, HWV 27 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Hilary Summers (Soprano), Lawrence Zazzo (Countertenor), Stephen Wallace (Countertenor),
Andrew Foster-Williams (Tenor), Rosemary Joshua (Soprano), Kurt Streit (Tenor)
Conductor:  Christian Curnyn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Opera Company
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1730; London, England 
Length: 190 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Version: 02/1730 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Fantastic Recording - Many Amazing Voices November 29, 2014 By Alex W. (San Francisco, CA) See All My Reviews "The bottom line (at the top): This is a stellar recording of a humorous and delightful Baroque (Handel) opera. It is filled with emotive, rich, and impressively difficult arias that will stick in your head long after the 3rd CD is finished playing. If you're interested in testing out a Baroque opera, this is a great introduction representative of the time period. Partenope is an excellent Baroque opera seria, although Silvio Stampiglia's libretto is actually humorous and light, breaking away from traditional opera seria. Some would call Partenope opera buffa, which may be more accurate. Partenope is a bit tongue and cheek, somewhat mocking the more traditional opera seria. This particular recording is beautiful, and at times even charming. A number of the da capo arias from Partenope are magnificent, and are treated and embellished generously by this cadre of performers. Act II is my favorite act, particularly the arias "Furie Son Dell' Alma Mia" and "Qual Farfalletta," the latter being a remarkable version of this gorgeous aria. "T' Appresta Forse Amore" in Act I is ingeniously sung, a real musical treat, especially when you know the translation. Act III has one of my favorite aria recordings in my personal collection: "La Gloria in Nobil Alma." This "Gloria" is absolutely stellar, and is so cheerfully sung. The fact that multiple countertenors were enlisted for this recording makes for yet another compelling reason to purchase this album. I am fortunate enough to have seen a live production of Partenope in San Francisco (Christopher Alden premier in 2014). Though I believe some of the voices were actually better in the staged version I saw, this particular recording certainly holds its own. It is sung with a bit of a flare for drama, especially where drama is important to the story, but Christian Curnyn focuses on the vocals, which is exactly what a CD/MP3 recording ought to be focused on if it is not recorded live. All in all: stellar quality, amazing voices and a compelling story come together to make this a recording Baroque opera and/or Handel lovers should not pass up." Report Abuse
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