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Vivaldi: Bajazet [Box set]

Fabio Biondi Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 9.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Fabio Biondi is one of the most important and influential figures of the Baroque period-instrument movement. Born in Palermo, he made his concerto debut with the RAI Symphony Orchestra at the age of twelve, and gave his first recital on a Baroque violin in Vienna’s Musikverein when he was sixteen. He went on to work with such distinguished groups as Musica Antiqua Wien, La Chapelle ... Read more in Amazon's Fabio Biondi Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Mar 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B00369K2AA
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,211 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. I Allegro
2. II Andante molto
3. III Allegro
4. Recit: Prence lo so, vi devo (Bajazet/Andronico)
5. Aria: Del destin non dee lagnarsi (Bajazet)
6. Recit: Non si perda di vista (Andronico/Idaspe)
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Recit: Ah disperato Andronico! (Andronico)
2. Aria: La sorte mia spietata (Andronico)
3. Recit: Signor, vergine illustre (Tamerlano/Asteria/Idaspe/Irene)
4. Aria: Cruda sorte (Tamerlano)
5. Recit: Senti, chiunque (Asteria/Irene/Idaspe)
6. Aria: La cervetta timidetta (Asteria)
See all 27 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Libretto
2. Synopsis

Product Description

VIR 4564592; VIRGIN - Italia; Classica Lirica

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD bonus 29 May 2012
By Clive
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a very good CD,& the bonus DVD is novel with the six principles singing an aria each,that grings the CD to life.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The recording is of a superior quality, and at the moment vivaldi is a composer that is at one with my psyche.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a voice teacher and early music fan 20 April 2010
By George Peabody - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roll Over, Tony, and Tell George Frederic the News 15 May 2010
By Giordano Bruno - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This package is a re-release of the Bajazet performance I reviewed about two years ago, but with a new cover. It was a great performance then, and I presume it's just as good now, but you don't need two copies of it!
Here's my original review:

Vivaldi's opera Bajazet tells the same tale of love redeemed by a father's death as Handel's Tamerlane. I'd have to side with the Red Priest on his choice of titles; it's Bajazet, the Ottoman prisoner of Tamerlane, who drives the story. Otherwise, it's a toss-up as to which is the more glorious music, with Handel offering more pathos and Vivaldi more fury. Operas set in the Ottoman Empire were popular in the 18th Century, even in Venice where the Turks had been feared and hated for hundreds of years. Mozart wrote his Abduction from the Seraglio at the tail end of this enthusiasm for the exotic. An interesting link exists between Vivaldi and Mozart. The role of Idaspe in Bajazet was sung by a young Florentine, Giovanni Manzoli. Idaspe is only a secondary character in the drama, but she is given spectacular muisc to sing in this 'pasticcio'; Vivaldi composed all of her arias especially for this opera, rather than recycling or borrowing arias from other works. Manzoli went on to have a 30-year successful career, and to sing the title role in the Milan debut of the boy Mozart's opera Ascanio in Alba.

Another linkage: the role of Tamerlane on this studio recording is sung by countertenor David Daniels. Just recently I heard/saw Daniels sing Tamerlane in Handel's opera, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, with Placido Domingo singing the role of Bajazet. It's tricky to compare a CD with a stage performance, but to my ears Daniels is much more successful in this Vivaldi than he was in the Handel. The problem was the total musical context in Washington, with a mixed cast of Baroque specialists and singers more experienced in Verdi and Puccini, and a modern instrument orchestra. Domingo brought his huge personality to the role of Bajazet and made the tragic figure emotionally potent, but honestly he couldn't navigate the florid 'passagi' typical of Handel's Italian operas. Thank the muses that he didn't attempt Vivaldi! This CD performance features the superb original instrumentation of Europa Galante, led by Fabio Biondi, and a cast of vocal athletes that can toss off Vivaldi's swarming arpeggios with avian grace.

The two-side box of Bajazet comes with a third disk, a DVD of studio footage of the recording sessions, featuring one aria by each of the principals. Honestly, it's a wonderful bonus. CDs of operas are inevitably mere hauntings. Seeing and hearing the characters, even in street clothes with the mikes in their faces, makes the task of assembling all those recitativos and arias into a coherent whole in one's musical mind a good deal easier.

Among the singers, for me the stand-out is Vivica Genaux, the mezzo soprano who sings Irene, the jilted fiancee of Tamerlane. In an opera where vocal display is the raison d'etre, Genaux wins the Gold. But there are no disappointments; all six of the principals are impeccable.

After decades of relegation to elevators and car radios during commute hours, the music of Vivaldi is finally gaining its rightful appreciation. Vivaldi was above all a composer of operas and other music for voices. Although so far only two of his 40+ surviving operas are available on DVD, excellent CDs of his best works are being issued almost every month. Along with recordings by Europa Galante, those by the ensembles Accademia Bizantina and Concerto Italiano are uniformly excellent.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivaldi - and OTHERS, in a highly dramatic setting superbly performed. 22 Aug 2011
By Abert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It is interesting to learn that owing to the then prevailing political climate, Vivaldi wrote this opera borrowing compositions from other contemporaries for his 'villain' camp.
So what? The most outstandingly beautiful (or spectacular) arias were NOT composed by Vivaldi, and two of the most ear-catching ones are being sung here by Vivica Genaux, the baroque mezzo par excellence these days. The famous aria (of Irene) 'Sposa son desprezzata' was composed not by Vivaldi, as so many other sources 'thought' it to be. Genaux gives just the right 'sense' to the aria, by comparison with the overly mellifluous interpretations of Cecilia Bartoli or Sumi Jo.
The other fiendishly difficult aria that was featured on the very interesting bonus DVD sung by Genaux was, we are told, composed by Riccardo Broschi, brother of Farinelli (Carlo Broschi). One cannot but note the huge vocal progress that Genaux has made in this recording under Biondi since her earlier album with Rene Jacobs in 2000.
Another outstanding mezzo in this recording is the then relatively little known Latvian mezzo Elina Garanca. She sung the trouser role of Adronicus with real aplomb and deep richness of tone.
Daniels gave a wonderful characterisation of the role of Tamerlane, though his voice cannot be termed 'beautiful' or 'full-bodied' in the same sense as other countertenors like Deller, Kowalski or Scholl. D'Arcangelo's Bajazet is another real gem of this recording, with his agile coloratura, terrific timbre and superb musicianship. He has since moved up to become one of today's foremost bass baritones. Bravo!
I am too happy to report that there is absolutely no weak link in this entire recording.
Fabio Biondi is great throughout and captures the music with unfailing rhythmic energy, with full-blown musical nuances.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone Loves Bajazet 20 Jan 2012
By Paul Van de Water - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a reissue of a recording originally released in 2005. At that time I wrote, "If you're a fan of Vivica Genaux or David Daniels, or if you're a devote of Handel's operas, you'll love Bajazet. In fact, it's based on the same libretto as Handel's Tamerlano (although the texts of the arias appear to be different). Up to now, I've never found Vivaldi's operas very appealing. Even conductor Fabio Biondi calls many of them 'boring.' (Gramophone, May 2005) In contrast, Biondi terms Bajazet Vivaldi's `best opera score.' I bought Bajazet on impulse after hearing a portion of it being played in a local music store and have been absolutely captivated. It's full of baroque vocal pyrotechnics, beautifully performed by singers and instrumentalists alike. Although it all sounds effortless on the CDs, the accompanying DVD gives one a feel for the skill required. The opening three-movement sinfonia is also top-notch Vivaldi. If you're at all tempted to buy this album, don't resist."

All these years later, this is still one of my favorite Vivaldi recordings. I don't think that there's another recording about which opinion is so uniformly enthusiastic. For 22 more five-star reviews, see Vivaldi - Bajazet / D'Arcangelo, Daniels, Ciofi, Genaux, Mijanovic, Garanca, Europa Galante, Biondi [Includes Bonus DVD].
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vivaldi the Operatic 4 Dec 2012
By J. R. Trtek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
As noted by others, Bajazet is a mashup of sorts -- Vivaldi wrote the arias for the good guys in the drama, essentially, while for the villain arias he borrowed from other composers, including himself. The libretto itself is quite a stew unto itself, but this is wonderful music to listen to. I'm not particularly a devotee of opera, let alone Baroque opera, but this full recording of Bajazet is a real winner -- engaging, entralling and enthusiastic in its presentation. If you're a Baroque enthusiast but perhaps have kept to orchestral, instrumental and chamber works while maintaining your distance from opera of the period, let me suggeset you give this -- or the recording of Ercole on Virgin -- a try. You could get seirously hooked.
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