To start with:
This (what there is of it) is a wonderful recording of Julius Caesar.I say what there is of it as it is only highlights.It is none the worse for that having a really great cast.
Paul Esswood sings Caesar as it should really be sung,that is by a counter tenor.
Roberta Alexander not only sings the fiendishly difficult arias of Cleopatra,but adds to them great feeling and pathos.
Cornelia (Marjana Lipovsek)& her son Sextus(Ann Murray)give us some definitive singing in these two dramatic roles.
Quite what this recording started life as I am not sure.These are NOT highlights from a complete recording,I wish it were,as I would certainly buy it!
Not only that but in the last duet Roberta Alexander is strangely replaced by Lucia Popp!Quite where Ms Alexander went I don't know(nor can I find out).
This doesn't mean it is a lesser recording,just that there are some mysteries attached to it.
Oh yes,Nicholas Harnoncourt conducts with aplomb and great feeling for Handel's music, with an orchestra of original instruments too.
At the date of writng this (August 2010) this disc is available for [....],and worth every penny!