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Customer Review

on 16 January 2011
Though as it's said in the previous review Oreste is a "pasticcio", and great Handel used some of the "hits" from his best operas it turned out to be the right "vehicle" and also with using a different libretto and adding new sinfonia and dances the final result is stunning like an absolutely new and original opera, and the recording itself is of very high quality in all respects - Petrou as the conductor, musicians' work and, of course, the singers. I also want to emphasize that this recording of Oreste as well as of Tamerlano is so special and is different from all the other numerous CDs I've ever had in my life as all MDG recordings are produced in the natural acoustics of specially chosen concert halls without any kind of sound-modifying manipulation, and I can really feel the difference. It's difficult to explain but if you compare the sound in these recordings with all the others the listening experience is absolutely new and unique. The first thought which occurs is that the sound is absolutely natural and you as if were present at the performance itself. I haven't had such a feeling listening to any other CD of different recording companies. I play it on special occasions as a special gift.

In the previous review it was absolutely fairly mentioned what great female voices there are in this all Greek team recorded by this German company with the most natural, best sound possible. I think that it's the best decision as it's about Greeks (based on Aristotelian drama) and takes place on the Greek territory at that time. Who but the Greeks themselves can express the Greek characters better? All the singers in this recording have very beautiful, specific, rich in tone and warm voices. But I also want to emphasize male voices - Petros Magoulas, a wonderful bass, and especially Nicholas Spanos with his unique countertenor voice, marvellously coloured with an angelic but very warm and human sounding voice, a distinct male, very masculine voice from a different, better world. His singing Filotete in this recording makes it absolutely and most of all special. His Filotete is a different character from his famous Tamerlano. He is more lyric, thoughtful, caring but by no means an angel and also a strong man's character and Spanos masterly shows it using the right expressive means according to the situation in the plot.

Not only his 3 arias - Orgogliosetto va l'augelletto, Qualor tu paga sei and Mostratevi serene are absolutely marvellous, sung with unique colour, great breath-taking high notes, the smoothest and most effortless technique, seamless breath control, wonderful cadenzas, great transitions and miraculous low notes, with very intelligent and exquisite coloratura without excessive, unnecessary embellishments, in style, what is called "not over sung" and not forced, which some other even great countertenors do to sound more "impressive" and take credit of the piece for themselves to show their own technical ability, virtuosity..., so not only his arias but also his participation in recitatives (like Udisti, Filotete?, Erminione, e quando mai, with Erminione and Pilade, Bella Ifigenia, in vano, with Ifigenia, and others) makes this recording unique and makes you want to listen to this opera again and again. Together with his Tamerlano this recording is my most valuable musical possession too. It's a must to have for all baroque music lovers. I hope to have soon recordings of other great Handel's and other great composers' operas made by this company in cooperation with Nicholas Spanos and all the Greek singers and musicians I heard here.
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