Decca, the opera company, presents a premium collection of the 100 most beautiful Opera tracks on 6 CDs. Enjoy classic arias and overtures, performed by the greatest opera stars of all time. Artists include Pavarotti, Bartoli, Fischer-Dieskau, Tebaldi, Calleja, Sutherland, Bergonzi, Ghiaurov, Freni, Nilsson, del Monaco, Domingo, Horne, Te Kanawa, Solti, von Karajan, Terfel, Price, Caballe, Kaufmann, Gheorghiu and more.
Doubtless Italy's biggest rock star, Vasco Rossi is not only the most successful Italian singer since the 1980s, but he is also the most realistic and consistent incarnation of the triad of sex, drugs (or alcohol), and rock & roll. Ignored – when not hated – by the critics but adored by his fans, Rossi was the first Italian artist to tour the stadiums (at the end of the 1980s), reaching the apex of a popularity that has survived uncountable trend changes and at least two full decades. His songs, heavy riff-based rockers and romantic power ballads, and his lyrics made him a sort of a prophet for a generation of disappointed youngsters who found in them an escape, a door to an easier, reckless life: the "Vita Spericolata" described in one of his most famous hits.
Countertenor performances of 19th century opera are a historical and, ultimately, true novelty. This said, for those who love the sound of the countertenor voice and want to give it a try, there are several factors that recommend this release by countertenor Franco Fagioli, with the small orchestra Armonia Atenea under George Petrou. First is that castrati were still around in Rossini's time, although on the decline, and the composer was reportedly intrigued by their voices. Second, Fagioli, unlike the vast majority of other countertenors, studied bel canto singing rather than Baroque repertory exclusively, and a certain distance present in the work of other countertenors is absent here. And third, and most important, is Fagioli's voice itself. Of the countertenors active today, he's the one with the range, the power, the attitude to make you suspend disbelief and think for a moment that you're actually listening to a castrato. He enters into the various Rossini roles represented on this recording, several of which were mezzo-soprano "pants" roles; this adds to the layers of identity-switching happening, and the parts hit Fagioli's vocal sweet spot. A bonus is that several of these are from Rossini opere serie that are little played or recorded.
Handel's Imeneo, an opera almost contemporaneous with Messiah, has received few performances ever since Messiah librettist Charles Jennens slammed it as "the worst of all Handel's compositions" while still allowing that it contained some good tunes. The work exists in two versions; Handel attempted to rescue the opera that bombed in its London premiere by cutting arias and inserting new material, some of it borrowed from other works. It is this second version, premiered in Dublin, that is recorded here. Conductor Fabio Biondi extols it in his notes, but the earlier version also has its virtues, including a more coherent plotline involving the Greek maiden Rosmene, who has to pick either her true love Tirinto or her rescuer Imeneo (Hymen, the god of love on whose story the libretto is based).
The box contains a perfect overview of VIVARTE’s legendary catalogue of ancient music ranging from Vivaldi to Brahms. Most of the recordings received critical acclaim all over the world, many of them won prestigious awards and many are reference recordings.