<< -- 3 -- Peter Dale BREACH OF CONVENTIONS?
Monica Bacelli as Tamerlano is cruel, whimsical, political and irresistible.
Asteria, Bajazet's abused daughter (Elisabeth Norberg-Schulz) has awesome
resources of steel-cold determination worthy even of a Turandot [listen -- CD1 track 17, 0:00-1:23]. The timbre of Graham
Pushee's alto Andronico, Asteria's compromised lover, is very
close indeed, however, to Bacelli's contralto, and sometimes you wish
for a slightly greater degree of differentiation [listen
-- CD3 track 24, 0:08-0:27]. Perhaps the overlapping was entailed in
rushed revisions (of voices and tessituras) that Handel himself made before
the first performances to take advantage of two singers whose reputations
he knew but not, at first hand, their voices. In the theatre, this would
be no problem because costume, stature, blocking etc would more than compensate
for a similarity of voices, but on a recording it presents a little difficulty,
no matter how accomplished or intrinsically beautiful the voices.
Handel enthusiasts will regard these discs as indispensable. Now that
this erstwhile 'specialist' baroque opera is well and truly out
of the early music ghetto, anyone with an ear for great music will probably
Copyright © 29 September 2002
Peter Dale, Danbury, Essex, UK
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM CROTCHET
WILFRID MELLERS WRITES ABOUT HANDEL'S 'SILLA'
AV 0001 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE (3 CDs) 60'30"/57'35"/63'15" - TT 181'20" 2002 The English Concert
Monica Bacelli, contralto (Tamerlano), Tom Randle, tenor (Bajazet), Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz, soprano (Asteria), Graham Pushee, alto (Andronico), Anna Bonitatibus, mezzo-soprano (Irene), Antonio Abete, bass (Leone), The English Concert, Trevor Pinnock, conductor
George Frideric Handel: Tamerlano, HWV 18 (1724), an opera in three acts. Libretto by Nicola Haym, based on the libretto by Agostino Piovene (Venice, 1711), itself based on 'Tamerlan ou la mort de Bajazet' by Jacques Pradon, 1675