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A Gluck Retrospective (Blessed Spirit: A Gluck Retrospective) CD
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The Classical Opera Company was founded in 1997 by conductor Ian Page. It specialises in the music of Mozart and his contemporaries, performing with its own period-instrument orchestra, and is emerging as one of Britains most exciting and highly regarded young arts organisations. It has attracted considerable critical and public acclaim, not only for the high quality of its performances but also for its imaginative programming and, in particular, its ability to discover and nurture outstanding young singers.
Top Customer Reviews
Not much, however, of the qualities mentioned emerges here. There is in any case something inherently unsatisfactory about a concert made up of isolated excerpts from many different operas where it must be hard to bring out anything of the various characters and their dramatic situations, especially in the unfamiliar works. Apart from which the three young female artists performing here are accomplished and tasteful, but not really distinctive enough in tone or style to compare with others who have sung some of these pieces (whatever else may think of her Cecilia Bartoli in her disc of Gluck arias dealt a knock-out blow in each one). Nor does the orchestra make much impact in the recording, sounding as it does recessed and under-powered.
Lovers of Gluck will be grateful to hear the excerpt from 'La Semiramide riconosciuta,' the sweet pastoral duet from 'Il re pastore' and the highly dramatic scena from 'Telemaco' (music which reappeared in the later 'Armide' for the fury, Hate): these three operas are otherwise unrepresented on disc.
Judging from the applause included the audience enjoyed the evening in the hall, but all in all the disc gives only a rather muted impression listened to at home.