Saturday, September 18, 2010

Handel - Serse - Christie, Les Arts Florissants



Handel's Serse is mostly known today for (what is known as) its famous "Largo," (the aria "Ombra mai fu") which opens the opera and is a love song to a tree sung by our whimsical, bratty King Serse. The opera concerns Serse's falling in love with his brother Arsamene's fiancée Romilda immediately after hearing her sing--as well as the fact that Romilda's sister Atalanta loves Arsamene, and that Princess Amastre, who has been jilted by George Frideric HandelSerse, wanders through the opera dressed as a man wanting revenge against Serse. Throw a comic character, Arsamene's servant Elvino, and the pompous Ariodate (Romilda's and Atalanta's father) into the mix, and you've got a wry-but-moving tale. It's brightly performed here by the spectacular Anne Sofie von Otter in the title role, mezzo Silvia Tro Santafé a nicely offended Amastre; bass Anonio Abete brilliant as the wacky Elvino; and, most gloriously, countertenor Lawrence Zazzo as Arsamene. Not counting some mediocre singing by our Romilda, the others in the cast are worthy, and William Christie leads his grand band, Les Arts Florissants, in a lively, naturally paced, bristling-with-drama show. A fine performance of a great opera. --Robert Levine
 
ape, covers

1 comment:

  1. File Factory says this link is dead & needs to be reloaded.

    http://www.filefactory.com/file/b492660/n/Handel_-_Serse_-_Christie,_Les_Arts_Florissants_(ape,covers).part6.rar
    Is anyone tending this site any longer?
    Thanks,
    Bob

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