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Claudio Monteverdi: Il Ritorno Ulisse In Patria (Zurich 2002) (Vesselina Kasarova/ Dietrich Henschel/ Orchestra La Scintilla of the Zurich Opera House/ Klaus-Michael Grüber/ Nikolaus Harnoncourt) (Arthaus: 101660) [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]

Vesselina Kasarova , Dietrich Henschel , Klaus-Michael Grüber , Nikolaus Harnoncourt    Exempt   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £18.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Klaus-Michael Gruber's austere staging of Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria ("Ulysses' Return") gives the impression of a sun-drenched ancient Greek island by the simplest of means: a bleached white wall against a dazzling sky-blue backcloth. It is an ideal setting for conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt's pared-down reading of the score (fewer "authentic" rasps and rattles than 25 years ago) and Vesselina Kasarova's intense, restrained performance of Penelope, all the more powerful for being held back. For example, her repeated cry of "Torna!" ("Return to me!")--an excuse for much hand-wringing on the part of some mezzos--rarely rises above mezzo-forte here. Dietrich Henschel is equally impressive as Ulisse, and uses his rich, flexible voice with inventiveness: he handles the moment of recognition with his son Telemaco (the outrageously handsome Jonas Kaufmann) beautifully. There are some off-the-rail moments to the staging which might not appeal to English theatrical tastes: Penelope's suitors are presented in a rather silly puppet show and the comedy scenes with Iro (Rudolf Schasching) fall flat. But it doesn't prevent the final moments of reconciliation and recognition reaching powerful heights.

On the DVD: Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria is presented in 16:9 ratio and has PCM Stereo or Dolby Digital 5.1 sound options. There are subtitles in Italian, German, English, French and Spanish. A handsome, well-lit production is rendered on the small screen with as much subtle shading as possible by video director Felix Breisach, and falls very easily on the eye. --Warwick Thompson

Product Description

LIVE RECORDING FROM THE ZURICH OPERA HOUSE, 2002

Pénélope; VESSELINA KASAROVA
Lhumanita fragilita/ Ulisse: DIETRICH HENSCHEL
Melanto: MALIN HARTELIUS
Telemaco: JONAS KAUFMANN
Iro: RUDOLF SCHASCHING
Minerva/ AmoreI: ISABEL REY
Fortuna/ Giunone: MARTINA JANKOVÀ

ORCHESTRA LA SCINTILLA OF THE ZURICH OPERA HOUSE
Conducted by NIKOLAUS HARNONCOURT
Stage Directed by KLAUS-MICHAEL GRÜBER
Set Design by GILLES AILLAUD

Il Ritorno dUlisse in Patria is based closely on the final books of Homers Odyssey and is hailed as the key work marking the threshold between the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Together with producer Klaus Michael Grüber, Nikolaus Harnoncourt strikes a new balance between musical polish and distillation of the essence of dramatic action. It is a kind of théâtre pauvre, which works with a few carefully chosen and powerful symbols, was how the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung reviewed the production. The main action takes place on little more than an angled revolving stage in front of a whitewashed wall which hints at the landscape of a Greek island. The sets have an apt simplicity, eschewing fussy detail and spectacular effects. The colours are cool, predominantly white, blue and black, transporting us to a modern day. Harnoncourts musical drive has become a touch gentler, wrote the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel. Not that Harnoncourt is now leaving things to chance or to the discretion of his exquisite musicians. But the way he communicates his entire rostrum manner seems to have become more relaxed, calmer, rounder, and both he and the listener are amply rewarded by the sound which results.

Product Description

ARTH 101660; ARTHAUS MUSIK - Germania; Classica Lirica
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