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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I defy you not to fall in love with Sylvia McNair's Poppea
This is an astonishingly original interpretation, with tempi that are breathtakingly slow, heavy use of rubato, and a sparseness of texture that is offset by an unusually sensuous accompaniment to the recits.
The singers sing almost without vibrato, but have been encouraged to wring every ounce of emotion out of the music - sometimes breaking into a sob, sometimes...
Published on 6 Jan 2006

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18 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad performance
Firstly the Italian pronunciation of several singers is simply terrible. I am usually quite tolerant, despite the pronunciation is very important for an Italian listener, but here it is simply not possible. I also dislike the strong vibrato of some singers (and, in general, the use of the vibrato when performing the Baroque repertoire). All the cast including the choir,...
Published on 21 Nov 2003 by Marco Zunino


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I defy you not to fall in love with Sylvia McNair's Poppea, 6 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea (Audio CD)
This is an astonishingly original interpretation, with tempi that are breathtakingly slow, heavy use of rubato, and a sparseness of texture that is offset by an unusually sensuous accompaniment to the recits.
The singers sing almost without vibrato, but have been encouraged to wring every ounce of emotion out of the music - sometimes breaking into a sob, sometimes slipping almost into parlando, and freqently bending the tone to accentuate or create a sudden discord.
It's quite astonishingly effective - the characters are clearly delineated, the brief comedy sections actually sound as if they might be funny, and the eroticism and heartbreak will never be more evocatively captured.
And Sylvia McNair's Poppea is one of the most shiningly sexy performances I've ever heard... I defy you not to fall in love with her!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pared down orchestrations allows proper focus on the drama, 17 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea (Audio CD)
This is quite simply an extraordinary recording of this greatest of 17th century operas. The reduction of the orchestra to virtually continuo forces throughout sacrifices little when the work is as imaginatively handled as it is here. And as for the cast, von Otter is dramatically magnificent as Octavia while the Poppea, Ottone, Seneca, and Nutrice could hardly be bettered. The only disappointment is the occasionally out of tune singing of the Nerone. First class sound as well.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexy Poppea, 30 Oct 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea (Audio CD)
This is a fabulous recording, and the most enjoyable I have heard. I am used to seeing Poppea sung erotically in performance, but had not thought it possible to do so in a recording. This is simply the sexiest Poppea on record.
The sumptuous continuo section provides a rich background for this most intimate of operas.
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18 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad performance, 21 Nov 2003
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Marco Zunino (Tokyo) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea (Audio CD)
Firstly the Italian pronunciation of several singers is simply terrible. I am usually quite tolerant, despite the pronunciation is very important for an Italian listener, but here it is simply not possible. I also dislike the strong vibrato of some singers (and, in general, the use of the vibrato when performing the Baroque repertoire). All the cast including the choir, is simply not adequate for an Italian Baroque opera. Irritating is also the cut of some scenes and the substitution of the initial symphony with the symphony of the "Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria". Gardiner direction by itself is good and the orchestra provides an excellent performance, but this does not save this CD to be a pain.
Instead, I strongly recommend the wonderful version by Gariddo, that in my opinion is the best recording available (technically a bit inferior, but definitively acceptable). Mainly for personal taste, I do not like Monteverdi directed by Jacobs (despite I love his work with Haendel and Graun). However, even Jacobs is preferable. I never listened Harnoucourt and the (unfortunately very difficult to be found) recording by the "Sonatori della Giocosa Marca" (EMI), but even if I do not know if they are better than Gariddo, by sure they can not be worst that Gardiner's recording.
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Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea
Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi (Audio CD - 1996)
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