Magazine article Gramophone

Vivaldi's First Thoughts on the Story He Would Return to Later

Magazine article Gramophone

Vivaldi's First Thoughts on the Story He Would Return to Later

Article excerpt

Vivaldi  Orlando furioso (1714 version, RV819)  Riccardo Novaro bar       Orlando Teodora Gheorghiu sop     Angelica Romina Basso mez          Alcina Gaelle Arquez mez         Bradamante Delphine Galou contr      Medoro David DQ Lee counterten   Ruggiero Roberta Mameli sop        Astolfo  Modo Antiquo /Federico Maria Sardelli Naive (F) (2) OP30540 (111' * DDD) 

In autumn 1713 Vivaldi took over management of opera at Venice's Teatro S Angelo and put on a production of Giovanni Alberto Ristori's Orlando furioso. He also initiated a revival on December 1, 1714, and for many years it was assumed that only minimal alterations were made to Ristori's music; but recently musicologists have scrutinised the sole surviving manuscript (now in Turin) more closely. Extensive revisions indicate that Vivaldi systematically replaced Ristori's arias, even during the 1713 run of performances, and by the time of the 1714 revival the music seems to have been almost entirely rewritten by Vivaldi. This recording presents not so much a rediscovery (as it might be inaccurately hyped) but are consideration of authorship.

Federico Maria Sardelli's meticulously detailed booklet-note explains that the Turin manuscript lacks Act 3and also has a number of arias missing or without important parts: 'Not wanting to burden the world with new pasticcios, I rejected out of hand the idea of reconstructing the missing third act. However, I did set out to tackle the problematic status of the incomplete arias. Hence this recording presents Sardelli's editorial completion, assisted by Frederic Delamea, of the existing material for only Acts 1 and 2. Consequently, Modo Antiquo's spirited performance cannot be experienced as a coherent dramatic whole, but it is to the credit of the performers that they strive for dramatic conviction. The devious Alcina is sung expertly by Romina Basso and Teodora Gheorghiu's Angelica suitably protests far too much in her deception of Orlando ('Tu sei degli occhi miei'). …

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