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Vivaldi: Bajazet / Biondi, Europa Galante


Release Date: 05/10/2005 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 45676   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Ildebrando D'ArcangeloMarijana MijanovicVivica GenauxDavid Daniels,   ... 
Conductor:  Fabio Biondi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 26 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


This stunning work is one of the 50 operas composed on the subject of the bloody rivalry between the Tartar tyrant Tamerlano, whose methods of intimidation included constructing towers made up of his enemies heads (120 towers of 750 heads in Baghdad alone), and the proud Ottoman sultan, Bajazet, who after being imprisoned by Tamerlano opted for suicide rather than submission. In the opera, Tamerlano, though promised to the selfish princess Irene, loves Bajazet's daughter Asteria, who tries to kill Tamerlano twice. Asteria loves and is loved by Andronico, a confederate of Tamerlano's; Idaspe is a confidante of Andronico. Believe it or not, after Bajazet's suicide, Tamerlano is satisfied, and he
Read more pardons Asteria and Andronico.

The opera is a pastiche: It contains music by Vivaldi, some original, some adapted from earlier operas (all the recitatives and arias for Bajazet and Asteria); arias by Hasse, Giocomelli, and Carlo Broschi (brother of the famous castrato, Farinelli) reworked by Vivaldi; and three (also by Vivaldi) that have been chosen by conductor Fabio Biondi where they were missing from the score. With the exception of the last three mentioned, though, it must be remembered that the work was entirely overseen by Vivaldi; it is assuredly "his".

Conductor and cast throw themselves into this recording with a theatrical passion rarely encountered on CD: only René Jacobs' recent Cosi and Figaro come to mind, and by nature those operas are more stageworthy. Recits are spat out in this vicious story, and the arias--many of the simile type (I'm a turtledove; I'm like a ship on a storm-tossed sea)--actually are put across as if they were relevant. Bajazet, here sung and acted to perfection by Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, touches the heart with his desperate, second-act "Dov'è la figlia", in which he thinks his daughter has betrayed him by marrying Tamerlano; elsewhere, he sings with noble mien and fluent coloratura.


David Daniels may have too beautiful a voice for the role of Tamerlano, but his delivery is forceful, grand-mannered, and tough, and the singing itself is ravishing. Marijana Mijanovic sings the role of Asteria forcefully and with great dignity, her dark, lower register as stunning as her free middle and top. Vivica Genaux dazzles with her perfect coloratura as Irene in two arias composed for Farinelli; you wish the part were larger. Patrizia Ciofi's Idaspe contains the opera's highest-lying music; she handles it with ease, a pinched very high note aside. And Elina Garanca makes the most of Andronico's music, delivering it with princely abandon.

Praise cannot be high enough for Fabio Biondi and his Europa Galante, who play with such verve and such smooth tone that all issues about "early music performance" are moot. The horns, although they don't appear often (most arias are accompanied by strings in various formations), are played with great security and genuinely grand tone. The sonics are ideal, a slightly different acoustic for the recits aside. A bonus DVD featuring each of the singers performing an entire aria (and two for Bajazet) in rehearsal is great fun. What are you waiting for? [6/8/2005]
--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Bajazet, RV 703 "Tamerlano" by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Ildebrando D'Arcangelo (Bass Baritone), Marijana Mijanovic (Mezzo Soprano), Vivica Genaux (Mezzo Soprano),
David Daniels (Counter Tenor), Elina Garanca (Mezzo Soprano), Patrizia Ciofi (Soprano),
Ildebrando D'Arcangelo (Bass), David Daniels (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Fabio Biondi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1735; Verona, Italy 
Venue:  Flagey Studio 4, Musica Numeris, Brussel 
Length: 146 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: For this recording Fabio Biondi revised the libretto by Agostino Piovene and created a critical edition for the opera. The score itself is a pasticcio, and contains Vivaldi's reworkings of arias by his contemporaries including Johann Adolf Hasse, Geminiano Giacomelli, and Ricardo Broschi.
Flagey Studio 4, Musica Numeris, Brussels, Belgium (04/10/2004 - 04/15/2004) 

Sound Samples

Bajazet, Sinfonia: I Allegro
Bajazet, Sinfonia: II Andante molto
Bajazet, Sinfonia: III Allegro
Bajazet, Act 1, Scene 1: Recit: Prence lo so, vi devo (Bajazet/Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scene 1: Aria: Del destin non dee lagnarsi (Bajazet)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scene 2: Recit: Non si perda di vista (Andronico/Idaspe)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scene 2: Aria: Nasce rosa lusinghiera (Idaspe)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scene 3: Recit: Principe, or ora i greci (Tamerlano/Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scene 3: Aria: In si torbida procella (Tamerlano)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scene 4: Recit: Il tartaro ama Asteria (Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scene 4: Aria: Quel ciglio vezzosetto (Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scenes 4 & 5: Recit: Or si, fiero destino...Non è più tempo Asteria (Tamerlano/Asteria)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scenes 4 & 5: Aria: Vedeste mai sul prato (Tamerlano)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scenes 7 & 8: Recit: Non ascolto più nulla!...Asteria non parlate? (Bajazet/Asteria/Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scenes 7 & 8: Aria: Amara un alma ingrata (Asteria)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scene 9: Recit: Cosi la sposa (Irene/Andronico/Idaspe)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scene 9: Aria: Qual guerriero in campo armato (Irene)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scene 10: Recit: E' bella Irene (Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 1, Scene 10: Aria: Non ho nel sen costanza (Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 1: Recit: Amico, tengo un testimon fedele (Tamerlano/Andronico/Idaspe)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 2: Recit: Sarete dunque ostinato (Idaspe/Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 2: Aria: Anch' il mar par che sommerga (Idaspe)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 3: Recit: Gloria, sdegno ed amore (Asteria/Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 3: Aria: Stringi le mie catene (Asteria)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 4: Recit: Ah disperato Andronico! (Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 4: Aria: La sorte mia spietata (Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 5: Recit: Signor, vergine illustre (Tamerlano/Asteria/Idaspe/Irene)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 5: Aria: Cruda sorte (Tamerlano)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 6: Recit: Senti, chiunque (Asteria/Irene/Idaspe)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 6: Aria: La cervetta timidetta (Asteria)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 7: Recit: Gran cose e spone Asteria (Irene/Idaspe)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 7: Aira: Sposa, son disprezzata (Irene)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 8: Recit: Dov'è mia figlia Andronico (Bajazet/Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scene 8: Aria: Dov'è al figlia? (Bajazet)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scenes 9 & 10: Recit: Asteria, s'iamo al soglio...Sei quella tu (Tamerlano/Asteria/Bajazet/Andronico/Irene)
Bajazet, Act 2, Scenes 9 & 10: Aria: Quartetto - Si crudel! Questo é l'amore (Irene/Asteria/Tamerlano/Bajazet)
Bajazet, Act 3, Scene 1: Recit: Figlia siam rei (Bajazet/Asteria)
Bajazet, Act 3, Scene 1: Aria: Veder parmi, or che nel fondo
Bajazet, Act 3, Scene 2: Recit: Andronico il mio amore (Tamerlano/Andronico/Asteria)
Bajazet, Act 3, Scene 3: Aria: Barbaro traiditor (TamerlanO)
Bajazet, Act 3, Scene 4: Recit: Figlia, con atto tutta perdesti...Asteria (Bajazet/Asteria/Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 3, Scene 4: Aria: Spesso tra vaghe rose (Andronico)
Bajazet, Act 3, Scenes 7 & 9: Recit: Eccoti, Bajazet (Tamerlano/Andronico/Bajazet/Idaspe/Irene)
Bajazet, Act 3, Scenes 7 & 9: Aria: Verrò crudel, spietato (Bajazet)
Bajazet, Act 3, Scene 6: Recit: Signor, fra tante cure (Irene/Tamerlano)
Bajazet, Act 3, Scene 6: Aria: Son tortorella (Irene)
Bajazet, Act 3, Scene 7: Recit: Eccoti, Bajazet (Tamerlano/Andronico/Bajazet/Idaspe)
Bajazet, Act 3, Scene 8: Recit: E morto si, tiranno (Asteria/Andronico/Bajazet)
Bajazet, Act 3, Scene 8: Aria: Svena, uddici, abbatti, atterra (Asteria)
Bajazet, Act 3, Finale: Recit: Parte Asteria e restano (Andronico/Irene/Tamerlano)
Bajazet, Act 3, Finale: Coro: Coronata di giglie (Idaspe/Asteria/Irene/Andronico/Tamerlano)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 A fireworks of a recording. November 22, 2012 By   See All My Reviews "This is a wonderful recording with soloists of the highest caliber. All performances are clean and delivered with true commitment to the music. The orchestral accompaniment is equal to the vocal displays. The added DVD of the recording of various arias by the singers is a wonderful touch even though one of the ladies technique is distracting when watching her sing. This is a must for Vivaldi fans." Report Abuse
 A Winner August 13, 2012 By Ursula B. (HAMILTON, New Zealand) See All My Reviews "This outstanding performance of baroque music should delight all fans and performers of this genre; the vibrant clarity of the orchestra,the quality and stunning coloratura of the singers,the musicianship of all concerned, all contribute to an outstanding performance.Lest I forget, mention must be made of the high quality recitatives in which every word could be heard." Report Abuse
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