Customer Review

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for performers, 4 stars for production, 29 Jan 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Handel - Riccardo Primo, re d'Inghilterra / Zazzo, Rial, McGreevy, Kammerorchster Basel, Goodwin (Audio CD)
Every Handel opera, however "little known" always betrays the incomparable genius that Handel was. So as an opera its a great discovery because it seems to me that the overall quality of this one, and others like Scipione, is very fine indeed with a high proportion of superb arias and varied and careful orchestration with a lot of attention to detail and colour, despite perhaps not the best example of recording clarity here.
In Feb 1727 Handel became British, and later that year finished Riccardo Primo - an English historical setting perhaps complementing his new-found nation status. In Nov 1727 the premiere included the very best singers - Senesino, Cuzzoni (Constanza), Faustina (Pulcheria) Boschi (Isacio), Baldi (Oronte).
Of the many brilliant arias, the following spring to mind: Se m'e contrario il Cielo (Constanza) beautiful, evocative; Di notte il pellegrino (Constanza) although the context is tragic, the wandering line of the soprano and the striking syncopated feel of bits of the ritornellos show a subtle, wry wit born along by the sheer beauty and bounty of the music; Ti vedro regnar sul trono & nel mondo e nell'abisso (Isacio) 2 tremendous force-laden arias for Boschi with real menace and compulsive contrapuntal drive; Alto immenso Poter (Constanza) short but profound; L'aquila altera (Pulcheria) very powerful aria for Faustina; Bacia per me la mano (Constanza) beautiful slow Handel.
This recording is a wonderful effort at this unjustly neglected masterpiece. At times I found the overall 'feel' & approach a little heavy, and there is a bit of reverb its true, but so what - this works very well for Alto immenso Poter, Isacio's arias, L'aquila altera and others. The sound has a 'live' quality to it which makes it fresh & present, but also at times results in the strange positioning of various orchestral sounds and some fuddle. My impression is that the recording/production might have supported the performers more.

Am not at all fond of the falsetto sound in Handel's operas, so while Lawrence Zazzo is fine he doesn't carry the part for me. Nuria Rial is wonderful, an early music/baroque specialist I think, and brings her own lovely qualities to the role - and she carries the burden of the big arias very well indeed - lovely voice.
There are inumerable things to quibble about, its not perfect, but its the best available recording to date. Winton Dean's comment that Di notte il pellegrino, if taken too fast, destroys it is indeed true of the only other recording available - but not here, Paul Goodwin has got it just right.
Highly Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Top Reviewer Ranking: 614,363