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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never heard of them? You should., 10 Jan 2005
This review is from: Handel: Oreste (Audio CD)
I first heard this opera with some of the same singers, same conductor and different orchestra, at the new festival at Ancient Corinth. I admit I mainly went for the novelty value, but greatly enjoyed the performance, especially as the surroundings were magical - the Temple of Octavia in the archeological site was used as the 'set'- and the audience, though unaccustomed to classical music, was very attentive.
I wondered whether I would enjoy it quite so much on CD - after all, there's no 'ambience' to make up for any faults. But my misgivings dissolved at my first hearing. All the singers, especially the female voices, are excellent - the Oreste and Ifigeneia voices particularly appeal to me - and the orchestra (and harpsichord) are excellent. And though the opera itself may be a pasticcio, it's truly a beautiful one which stands perfectly well on its own.
This recording is a must for Baroque fans, if only to show that you don't need famous names to achieve a wonderful recording - just in-depth knowledge, spades of talent, and a true love of art.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Filotete!, 16 Jan 2011
This review is from: Handel: Oreste (Audio CD)
Though as it's said in the previous review Oreste is a "pasticcio", and great Handel used some of the "hits" from his best operas it turned out to be the right "vehicle" and also with using a different libretto and adding new sinfonia and dances the final result is stunning like an absolutely new and original opera, and the recording itself is of very high quality in all respects - Petrou as the conductor, musicians' work and, of course, the singers. I also want to emphasize that this recording of Oreste as well as of Tamerlano is so special and is different from all the other numerous CDs I've ever had in my life as all MDG recordings are produced in the natural acoustics of specially chosen concert halls without any kind of sound-modifying manipulation, and I can really feel the difference. It's difficult to explain but if you compare the sound in these recordings with all the others the listening experience is absolutely new and unique. The first thought which occurs is that the sound is absolutely natural and you as if were present at the performance itself. I haven't had such a feeling listening to any other CD of different recording companies. I play it on special occasions as a special gift.

In the previous review it was absolutely fairly mentioned what great female voices there are in this all Greek team recorded by this German company with the most natural, best sound possible. I think that it's the best decision as it's about Greeks (based on Aristotelian drama) and takes place on the Greek territory at that time. Who but the Greeks themselves can express the Greek characters better? All the singers in this recording have very beautiful, specific, rich in tone and warm voices. But I also want to emphasize male voices - Petros Magoulas, a wonderful bass, and especially Nicholas Spanos with his unique countertenor voice, marvellously coloured with an angelic but very warm and human sounding voice, a distinct male, very masculine voice from a different, better world. His singing Filotete in this recording makes it absolutely and most of all special. His Filotete is a different character from his famous Tamerlano. He is more lyric, thoughtful, caring but by no means an angel and also a strong man's character and Spanos masterly shows it using the right expressive means according to the situation in the plot.

Not only his 3 arias - Orgogliosetto va l'augelletto, Qualor tu paga sei and Mostratevi serene are absolutely marvellous, sung with unique colour, great breath-taking high notes, the smoothest and most effortless technique, seamless breath control, wonderful cadenzas, great transitions and miraculous low notes, with very intelligent and exquisite coloratura without excessive, unnecessary embellishments, in style, what is called "not over sung" and not forced, which some other even great countertenors do to sound more "impressive" and take credit of the piece for themselves to show their own technical ability, virtuosity..., so not only his arias but also his participation in recitatives (like Udisti, Filotete?, Erminione, e quando mai, with Erminione and Pilade, Bella Ifigenia, in vano, with Ifigenia, and others) makes this recording unique and makes you want to listen to this opera again and again. Together with his Tamerlano this recording is my most valuable musical possession too. It's a must to have for all baroque music lovers. I hope to have soon recordings of other great Handel's and other great composers' operas made by this company in cooperation with Nicholas Spanos and all the Greek singers and musicians I heard here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent recording, 22 Mar 2013
This review is from: Handel: Oreste (Audio CD)
I am currently re-listening to all Handel operas and am particularly impressed by those from Petrou and his colleagues. The voices are good, their technique impeccable and the recorded sound natural.
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Handel: Oreste
Handel: Oreste by George Frideric Handel (Audio CD - 2013)
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