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Vivaldi: Ercole sul Termodonte
Rolando Villazón (Ercole), Patrizia Ciofi (Orizia), Diana Damrau (Martesia), Joyce DiDonato (Ippolita), Vivica Genaux (Antiope), Topi Lehtipuu (Telemone), Philippe Jaroussky (Alceste), Romina Basso (Teseo)

Europa Galante, Fabio Biondi

Hercules reborn! Rolando Villazón and Joyce DiDonato lead a dazzling cast in Vivaldi’s opera Ercole sul’Termodonte, first heard in Rome in 1723 and reconstructed by conductor Fabio Biondi from the original libretto, historical scores and his intimate knowledge of the composer.

Biondi himself brought the score back to life, reconstructing it for performance in Venice in 2007, and subsequently in Paris in 2009. No autograph score or contemporary copy of the opera was in existence, but Biondi worked from the libretto printed for the first performances in Rome in 1723. He was then able to identify various arias from other Vivaldi scores kept in libraries around Europe, principally in France and Germany. In many cases, he also orchestrated the arias, extrapolating from their musical substance and his intimate knowledge of Vivaldi’s practice. Where no source existed for an aria or chorus, he reconstructed the music by adapting and borrowing from other works by Vivaldi. He also composed all the recitatives.

As Biondi explains: “This opera occupies a special and emblematic position in Vivaldi’s life. At the age of 45, he took the risk of presenting an opera in Rome for the first time … Ercole proved a resounding success … The city was full of talk about this opera which, by introducing a new musical style, seemed to revolutionise a genre much loved in the Eternal City. His melodic invention, his bel canto lyricism, rhythmic impulse and colourful instrumentation captured the imagination of music lovers.”

Presto Disc of the Week
6th December 2010
BBC Music Magazine
Opera Choice - January 2011

Brand New /sealed 2Cd in Clamshell box
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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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