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Handel: Bad Guys - Opera Arias from Amadigi, Ariodante and Ottone

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: Riccardo Minasi
  • Composer: Handel
  • Audio CD (14 Jan. 2013)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Aparte
  • ASIN: B009UW41G8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,755 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Vo' Dar Pace a Un' Alma Altiera
  2. Spero Per Voi, Si, Si
  3. Voglio Stragi, E Voglio Morte
  4. Pena Tiranna
  5. Dover, Giustizia, Amor
  6. Belle Dèe Di Questo Core
  7. D'innalzar I Flutti Al Ciel
  8. Bel Labbro Formato
  9. Domerò La Tua Fierezza
  10. Serenatevi, O Luci Belle
  11. Se L'inganno Sortisce Felice
  12. Agitato Il Cor Mi Sento

Product Description

Product Description

Xavier Sabata is an exceptional singer. He takes the music from a resolutely revolutionary angle, accompanied by the Italian ensemble Il Pomo d'Oro, conducted by Riccardo Minasi. This album, dedicated to the 'bad boys' in operas by Georges Friedrich Handel, is crossed with tears, joy and rage. A wonder to all lovers of exceptional vocal discoveries. During the 2011-2012 season, Xavier Sabata appears at the most prestigious opera houses, festivals and concert halls in Europe, with the best orchestras. Born in Barcelona in 1976, he graduated in drama from the Theatre Institute in his hometown. He rstudied with the famous duo of Mitsuko Shirai and Hartmut Höll and participated in master classes with Montserrat Figueras, Richard Levitt and Christoph Prégardien. His participation in the 'Coronation of Poppea' by Monteverdi at the Opera de Lyon marked the beginning of his regular collaboration with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie. Upcoming engagements include the lead at the Royal Opera Oviedo (Ottone, in Agrippina), the Megaron in Athens, at the Theater an der Wien and at the Royal Opera of Versailles. He sang Iarba in Cavalli's 'La Didone' at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, subsequently recorded by Decca.

Review

the Catalan countertenor has brought the fight thundering into the Baroque era ... Minasi s strings offer percussive vehemence ... and a foil to the richness of Sabata s coloratura ... Sabata s voice is wonderfully flexible, finding exciting colours at both extremes of his range ... this is a fine disc, and Sabata proves himself an excellent tour-guide through some of the seamier back streets of Handel s operas. --Alexandra Coghlan, Opera April 2013

Egeo s rage-venting Voglio stragi, e voglio morte [is] fast and furious, it carries Sabata higher than elsewhere (no strain) and shows no hitch in his rapid emission of notes. I am pleased to make the acquaintance of another impressive countertenor. Minasi leads an accomplished group, as adroit in its playing as Sabata is in his singing. --John T. Hughes, International Record Review April 2013

**** perf / **** rec Sabata s recital is rewarding. His technique and intonation are flawless. His ornaments are tastefully discreet and he seems to effortlessly surmount Handel s exacting coloratura. --Nicholas Anderson, BBC Music Magazine July 2013

Customer Reviews

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By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 29 May 2013
Format: Audio CD
I am often sceptical about discs packaged with titles and covers designed to shock (albeit gently) a classical audience because it can be a way of marketing some inferior work, but not here. This is a terrific disc of Handel arias for countertenor, sung by some of his villains from some well-known operas like Giulio Cesare and Ariodante through to some downright obscure stuff (well, it was obscure to me anyway) from Teseo and Amadigi di Gaula. All of it is very good music indeed and the performances are excellent.

Xavier Sabata is a very fine countertenor with a rich tone and excellent technique, so that he makes even Handel's most demanding and word-murdering passages seem effortless and meaningful. He brings genuine menace to the arias without ever resorting to melodrama and there is a real sense of the characters throughout. Il Pomo d'Oro under Riccardo Minasi are excellent: technically flawless and extremely supple, so that they really enhance the drama as well as the music.

I am going to have to get over my prejudice against this sort of marketing. First Celcilia Bartoli Mission and now Xavier Sabata have recently confounded my expectations with absolutely superb discs, and I wholeheartedly recommend this as a truly excellent and very rewarding Handel recording.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A well judged and beautifully sung recital disc. Whilst the new generation of countertenors continue to mine the previously unsung work of Porpora, Vinci, Leo and others, it is always salutary for one brave singer to tackle Handel once again. Sabata has an expressive dark tone to his voice (reminiscent of early David Daniels), impressive control and less of the tendency to go a little over the top at the top end of his range than some of his fellow countertenors. I especially enjoyed Sabata tackling the contralto role of Polinesso from Ariodante; ever since hearing Ewa Podles' ferociously sung Polinesso in Minkowski's production of the opera I have wanted a countertenor to take this role on disc. Sabata is not as frightening as Podles, but he expertly brings out the sense of menace in the arias. The arias from Ottone and Teseo are rarely heard, so Sabata's disc is a welcome addition to Cencic, Mehta and Daniels' great discs of Handel opera arias. And, not the least, Minasi and Il Pomo d'Oro support Sabata as delicately and precisely as they supported Cencic on his great Venezia disc.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Absolutely marvellous! He has a wonderful voice , a huge range and an intriguing range of songs. I read the review in today's Guardian, liked the sound of it, downloaded it and absolutely agreed with everything the reviewer said. But I am no expert, just a Handel lover. if you enjoy Handel, and the counter tenor voice, I do recommend this disc.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a very fine recital of Handel opera arias focussing on villains. Xavier Sabata's attack and ability to sing beautifully are combined to provide a varied and fairly unusual disc. Very few of these arias ("Pena tiranna" excepted) feature on other recital discs. Minasi's direction of Il Pomo D'Oro is thrillingly effective.
There's a curiosity in that the final listed track is followed after a break of about 2 minutes by an unannounced and undocumented encore which is not tracked separately. It's "Sorge nel petto...", Goffredo's Act 3 aria from Rinaldo. Maybe hidden because it hardly fits the "bad guys" theme - Goffredo being one of the good guys from that opera! Beautifully sung. The whole disc makes me want to hear him in a complete Handel opera.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bravi to the new wave of counter-tenors
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