[ Erato / CD ]
Release Date: Saturday 5 May 2018
(Limited Edition casebound deluxe)
Star countertenor Philippe Jaroussky continues his exploration of operatic settings of the Orpheus myth with the most famous of the many operas inspired by the story of the Greek poet who searches for his dead wife in the Underworld: Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice. It contains one of the world's best-loved operatic arias, Orfeo's restrained, but moving lament, 'Che farò senza Euridice'.
Conducted by Diego Fasolis, his is the world premiere recording of a version of the opera that was performed at the Royal Palace in Naples in 1774, 12 years after Orfeo ed Euridice was staged in Vienna as the first of Gluck's 'reform operas'. In these works Gluck emphasised simplicity of form and directness of expression, consciously rejecting the extravagances of opera seria, which dominated the early 18th century and was typified by convoluted plots and extended showpiece arias.
2017 brought the release on Erato of Jaroussky's own retelling of the myth, La storia di Orfeo, which comprised arias by three Italian composers from the 17th century - Monteverdi, Rossi and Sartorio. His Euridice was the Hungarian soprano Emőke Baráth, who in the Gluck opera moves over to the role of Amor, god of love. Euridice is sung in the new recording by the American soprano Amanda Forsythe, who already features in the Erato catalogue alongside Jaroussky in Agostino Steffani's opera Niobe, Regina di Tebe.
In addition to La storia di Orfeo, Diego Fasolis has collaborated with Philippe Jaroussky on Erato recordings of Vinci's Artaserse (audio and video albums), Handel's Faramondo and Pergolesi's Stabat mater.
"This brilliant recording of Gluck's famous opera has a vibrancy from start to finish. It flows along really nicely, a lively pace that is never hurried. All parts make a great whole with three superb soloists - notably Philippe Jaroussky in fine form as Orfeo. The orchestra and chorus match the billing and there is full clarity and balance throughout." Nicholas Butler/Marbecks
"Jaroussky is an engaging Orfeo, who sometimes puts expression before purity of sound...I Barocchisti, conducted by Diego Fasolis, make sure Gluck's drama comes leaping vividly from the loudspeakers." Financial Times
"Forsythe, her soprano bright yet soft-grained, contrasts well with Emöke Baráth, whose crisp, knowing Amor makes the prospect of a journey through the Underworld sound almost fun. Fasolis and his players wear the music lightly. As for Jaroussky, his sound isn't always entirely beautiful, but it's beguiling, and every syllable means something." The Guardian