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<<  -- 3 --  Wilfrid Mellers    SECOND SIGHT

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In the third and last act, the long dialogue between Elmira, Orsanes, and Atys finally unravels the tangled knots of mistaken identities and illusory realities, even questioning which is which. Elmira and Atys [listen -- CD 3 track 21, 0:00-0:53] each sing a dazzling and dizzying aria of rage which, given the false identities involved, turns out to be really joy. Human cussedness in misapprehension can hardly be called Enlightened; and for facing up to these equivocations Keiser's genius deserves momently to be bracketed with Handel's. I'd say the same of the final ensemble of forgiveness [listen -- CD 3 track 26, 0:00-0:52], when Solon admits that, far from being a deux ex machina, he is 'no god, but a MAN'.

That sounds like a decisive moment in history. I'm not sure whether it would come off in the theatre, but Keiser's music, as sung and played and directed on this CD, brings it off. It's astonishing that man, proud man, drest in a little brief authority, should over so many years have made almost as many marvels, lost or forgotten, as those that have been precariously preserved. The thought is inspiring if also depressive to someone as old as I am. One life is not enough.

Copyright © 21 April 2001 Wilfrid Mellers, York, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - HARMONIA MUNDI HM 901714.16

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