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Handel: Alessandro Box set

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Price: £30.17 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£30.17 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Conductor: Michael Form
  • Composer: Handel
  • Audio CD (27 Aug. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Pan Classics
  • ASIN: B008IEDWHI
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 541,320 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Disc 2
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Disc 3
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Digital Booklet: Handel: Alessandro, HWV 21 (Live)
Digital Booklet: Handel: Alessandro, HWV 21 (Live)
Album Only

Product Description

Handel s opera 'Alessandro', first performed at the King s Theatre, Haymarket in London on 5 May 1726, was one of the composer s most successful works for the stage. This opera displays Handel at the pinnacle of his career and enjoyed repeated performances over a period of several years. However, in modern times, 'Alessandro' has remained one of Handel s least performed operas. Alexander s heroic exploits only provide a background to the amorous dalliances, in which the eponymous hero cuts a pretty poor figure. Admittedly, the singer of the role is faced with eight arias in which he is forced to perform the most heroic deeds: the castrato Senesino was at this time the undisputed star of Handel s operatic enterprise - a hard act to follow. There are, however, further aspects to explain this neglect. Faustina Bordoni gave her first ever, long-anticipated performance in London in the première of 'Alessandro'. She rapidly became Handel s regular diva, Francesca Cuzzoni s rival. The two singers were already familiar with each other from their time in Italy, where they had shared numerous operatic stages, but Handel, who was under permanent threat of bankruptcy, used the rivalry between the two singers in an ingenious advertising campaign. The cat-fight between the divas was substantially hyped up in the press as each singer attempted to outdo the other in progressively more dazzling ornamentation. This explains why 'Alessandro' is so seldom performed. Basically, this work demands the three best singers in the world. Once these exceptional talents have been assembled, the opera is transformed into a string of the most beautiful pearls, strung perhaps on a slightly shallow plot, which however retains a certain charm. The present live recording, from the 2012 Handel Festival in Karlsruhe, can be viewed as a pioneering achievement and is only the second ever complete performance of Handel's 'Alessandro' since the recording by Sigiswald Kuijken and La Petite Bande in the mid-1980s. With an outstanding cast: Lawrence Zazzo in the title role, Yetzabel Arias Fernández, Raffaella Milanesi and Martin Oro, the opera was the highlight of the Handel Festival, which was cheered equally by both the audience and the critics.