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One of Haydn's best lyrical works. Written on commission by Solomon (same patron of the London symphonies) for performance in London. Strong Handel influence in the choruses and early Mozart operas in the arias ( La finta Gardiniera comes to mind many times while listening to this performance). In fact Haydn, just before leaving on the commission for this work, was spending a lot of time with Mozart, who was writing The Magic Flute; and you can hear strains of the music of the Magic flute also (when Orfeo calms the savages for example). Ceclia Bartoli sings Euridice, with well articulated and modulated emotional coloratura extremes. Uwe Heilman sings Orfeo with great agility and virility. All the minor roles are well sung too. Hogwood directs an elegant orchestra and chorus of Ancient Music creating an eloquent interpretation. Recommended to understand Haydn's operatic talents better, and an highly enjoyable tragic love story.
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