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Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Orlando Furioso: Ouvertura, Nel profondo cieco mondo, Sol da te mio dolce amor, Sorge l’irato nembo, Vorresti amor da me? Che bel morirti in sen, Se cresce un torrente, Qual candido fiore, Chiara al pari di lucida stella, Al fragor de’ corni audaci, Così potessi anch’io, Dove il valor combatte, Poveri affetti miei, Fonti di pianto, Anderò, chiamerò dal profondo, Con mirti e fiori
Marilyn Horne (Orlando, mezzo-soprano), Victoria de los Angeles (Angelica, soprano), Lucia Valentini-Terrani (Alcina, mezzo-soprano), Carmen Gonzales (Bradamante, mezzo-soprano), Lajos Kozma (Medoro, tenor), Sesto Bruscantini (Ruggiero, baritone), Nicola Zaccaria (Astolfo, bass), Coro Amici della Polifonia, I Solisti Veneti/Claudio Scimone
Recording first published 1978 (no other details given)
WARNER CLASSICS APEX 2564 61512-2 [72:45]
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I have discussed this performance fully in my review of the new Naïve recording of the complete opera and since my firm recommendation is that, if you really can’t stretch to buying 3 CDs, you’d be better off with nothing, I hope readers will link to that review.

Just to turn the knife in the wound, I pointed out that one of the glories of the opera was the way in which, in long stretches of the second and third acts, Vivaldi creates a vivid narrative out of a succession of accompanied recitatives, secco recitatives, brief arias and more fully developed arias. A highlights disc really should have given us at least a taste of this instead of just a string of arias.

As is customary with this series, the booklet has a brief but adequate introduction to the opera, a synopsis of the plot which makes no reference to the context of the extracts included and no libretto. It does find space, however, to dedicate four pages to an illustrated list of all the records now available in this opera highlights series, so you can wile away dull moments by browsing through this and reflecting, maybe, that there’s not a single one of them that wouldn’t have made a better buy.

Christopher Howell

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