VIVALDI BRINGS FORTH A POWERFULLY TRAGIC AND HIGHLY ROMANTIC OPERA!
One of fifty operas composed on the subject of bloody rivalry between the Tartar tyrant Tamerlano, and the proud Ottoman Sultan, Bajazet (Ildebrando D'Arcangelo), who after being imprisoned by Tamerlano opted for suicide rather than submission. In the opera, Tamerlano(David Daniels), though promised to the selfish Princess Irene(Vivica Genaux), loves Bajazet's daugher Asteria (Marijana Mizanovic), who tries to kill Tamerlano twice. Asteria loves and is loved by Andronico(Elina Garanca,pants role). Believe it or not, after Bajazet's suicide, Tamerlano is satisifed, and pardons Andronico and Asteria.
This opera is a 'mish-mash' of music by Vivaldi, some original, some drawn from earlier operas; arias by Hasse, Giocomelli,and Carlo Broschi(brother of castrato Farinelli) reworked by Vivaldi; three (by Vivaldi) chosen by conductor Fabio Biondi where they were missing from the score. However, this work was entirely overseen by Vivaldi, except for Biondi's last three choices.
Both conductor and cast perform with a theatrical passion seldom encountered on CD. Recitatives are regurgitated with great force and viciousness. Bajazet is performed with perfection by D'Arcangelo (bass-baritone). He is particularly moving in his deperate ActII "Dov'e la figlia"(Where is my daughter?) wherein he thinks his daughter has betrayed him by marrying Tamerlano. Overall he sings with fluent coloratura.
David Daniel's(Tamerlano) delivery is forceful, grand-mannered and tough (No one plays Tough better than Daniels); the singing is exquisite and always mellifluous with superb diction. This opera is indeed a great showcase for his voice. His aria 'Barbaro traditor' (villianous traitor), in which he denounces both Bajazet and Asteria for their individual attempts to kill themselves as well as an attempt on his life, is one of Daniel's high points in the opera, powerfully delivered reflecting the TRAGIC and ROMANTIC aspects of this work.
Mijanovic, in the role of Asteria, sings with dignity; her dark, lower register is ' to die for'! Genaux dazzles (Irene) in the two arias actually written for Farinelli. The highest-lying music is handled effortlessly with ease by Patrizia Ciofi(Idaspe) and Elina Garanca(Andronico) delivers her 'pant's role' with surety and princely abandon, though I personally would have preferred a male alto in this part.
Fabio Biondi and his Europa Galante contribute positively and with fervor. With his great showmanship, he surely was the one to put together this very dramatic Vivaldi opera.
The package comes with Synopsis, libretto and a TREMENDOUSLY INTERESTING Bonus CD. featuring each singer performing an entire aria and two for Bajazet, in a rehearsal situation. Information is in English, French, German and the text is in Italian, English and French.
THE NEGATIVE PHANTOM STRIKES AGAIN REMOVING (AFTER THREE YEARS) ONE OF MY POINTS FOR THIS REVIEW, AND AMAZON CHEERS BECAUSE DISSENSION IS PART OF THEIR GAME!!!! WHO CAN FIGHT IT????