MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Classicsonline AmazonUK   AmazonUS


Antonio VIVALDI (1678–1741)
Griselda, RV718 - Dramma per musica in Three Acts (1735)
Giles Tomkins (bass) – Gualtiero, King of Tessaglia; Marion Newman (mezzo) – Griselda, His Wife, the Queen of Tessaglia; Carla Huhtanen (soprano) – Costanza, Daughter of Griselda and Gualtiero, Princess of Tessaglia; Lynne McMurtry (mezzo) – Roberto, Prince of Atene; Jason Nedecky (baritone) – Corrado, Roberto’s Brother; Colin Ainsworth (tenor) – Ottone, Noble Knight of Tessaglia; Opera in Concert, Aradia Ensemble/Kevin Mallon
rec. Grace Church on-the-Hill, Toronto, Canada, 4-14 September, 2006
The Italian libretto and an English translation may be accessed in the future at the Naxos website
NAXOS 8.660211-13 [3 CDs: 65:17 + 64:21 + 39:28]
Experience Classicsonline

Based on a libretto by Apostolo Zeno, revised by Carlo Goldoni, who reduced it from 34 arias and five duets to 19 arias and one trio, Griselda was first performed on 18 May 1935 at the Teatro San Samuele in Venice. It is a fine score with inventive instrumentation and several arias worthy to be set beside Handel’s best efforts – Costanza’s Ombre vane in act 3 almost on a par with Pianger˛ from Giulio Cesare. The overture is a three-movement sinfonia that is played with a spring in the step in the outer movements and the Andante also rather fast. Kevin Mallon has regularly made his mark through vital readings of the baroque repertoire and this is no exception. The Aradia Ensemble on period instruments play well and the fairly long recitatives are taken at rather brisk tempos, which is a blessing in more ways than one. The dramatic tension is definitely maintained. Besides the harpsichord a cello and a theorbo are also employed as continuo instruments. Overall the instrumental side of this project is eminently well taken care of. I prefer the thrill and potency of this reading to a more polished but meek and bloodless version.
Several of the soloists are also accomplished. Best of all is Carla Huhtanen, a truly brilliant baroque soprano with excellent coloratura. Just listen to her second act aria Agitata da due venti (CD 2 tr. 4). She also sings Ombre vane (CD 3 tr. 4) with feeling. Marion Newman is an expressive, rather vibrant Griselda and the recitative and aria that finish act 1 (CD 1 tr. 15) is a dramatic high-spot. Lynne McMurtry also sings well as Roberto and has a very fine aria in act 2: Dal Tribunal d’amore (CD 2 tr. 5).
Of the men Giles Tomkins as Gualtiero is expressively dramatic though not very polished. He tends to shout but no one can deny that the aria Se ria procella (CD 1 tr. 4) is thrilling and he manages the extensive runs with assurance. Colin Ainsworth sings Ottone with polished but rather inexpressive tone and Jason Nedecky’s Corrado is technically good but rather anonymous.
Purists may react to the fact that these three roles are all transposed down an octave, even though there is no mentioning of this in the notes. Ottone was originally written for a soprano, Corrado for alto and Gualtiero for tenor. Personally I don’t mind very much and I rather like Giles Tomkins’s wholehearted approach to Gualtiero’s role, warts and all, even though a tenor would have sounded more comfortable.
There is another recording of the opera in Na´ve’s ongoing Vivaldi Edition, which my colleague Glyn Pursglove gave a rave review just over a year ago. This version is also musicologically correct in the allocation of voices for the different characters and generally speaking – I haven’t heard it yet – it is probably the version to own. Still I believe that many readers can also derive a great deal of pleasure from Kevin Mallon’s recording – and it does have a price advantage.
G÷ran Forsling

see also review by Brian Wilson 


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.