The year 2007 represents the 400th anniversary Monteverdi's "Orfeo", a work which is generally considered to be the first true opera in musical history. Rinaldo Alessandrini is one of the world's leading experts on Monteverdi's music and his biography of the composer is regarded as definitive. He is also the official editor of the composer's scores and his recordings of Monteverdi's works have reaped countless awards over the years from the international press. For this his first recording of Orfeo, Alessandrini has prepared a new version based on original scores which sheds new light on this great work. It will be given its first performance under his baton next year at La Scala in Milan. The singers in the production, all of them experienced in this area of the repertoire, are exceptional and include Furio Zanasi, who is probably today's greatest interpreter of the role of Orpheus.
This initial release is presented as a luxurious limited edition of the 2CD set incorporated into a book with a very rich introductory text by Rinaldo Alessandrini in which he explains the music of Monteverdi and his interpretation as well as the mythology contained in the opera's libretto. The book also incorporates a wonderful range of iconographic images of the many faces of Orpheus as seen through the eyes of artists throughout the centuries, including many of the greatest painters of the Italian renaissance.
Concerto Italiano, Rinaldo Alessandrini - (conductor), Monica Piccinini, Anna Simboli - (soprano), Sara Mingardo - (contralto), Furio Zanasi, Luca Dordoli - (tenor), Sergio Foresti, Antonio Abete - (bass)
La Musica: Monica Piccinini - (soprano), Orfeo: Furio Zanasi - (tenor), Euridice: Anna Simboli - (soprano), Messaggiera & speranza: Sara Mingardo - (contralto), Caronte: Sergio Foresti - (bass), Proserpina: Anna Simboli - (soprano), Plutone: Antonio Abete - (bass), Apollo: Luca Dordolo - (tenor)
(5 stars) Classical CD of the Week. A Triumph for all concerned. -- The Sunday Times, (Hugh Canning), September 23, 2007
(5 stars) This becomes the version of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo to aquire for any collection.
-- The Guardian, (Andrew Clements), September 28, 2007