New item Free shipping Pay Now
Add this item to Cart for a combined free shipping deal
Click to enlarge photo

Listing Detail Tabs

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo / Haim, Bostridge, Dessay, Ciofi, Gens, Coote, Maltman

After almost 400 years, you might think Monteverdi's L'Orfeo would have lost its luster. But in the right hands it can still be deeply exciting, allowing you to relive the birth of an electric and emotionally charged new art form. Emmanuelle Haïm's new L'Orfeo, starring Ian Bostridge, is that kind of experience. It combines truly electric instrumental playing with committed, daring performances to great effect, making for one of the most enjoyable opera recordings to come along in a while.
Haïm, who has the Midas touch for Baroque opera, leads this performance with infectious energy, perfect tempo, and dramatic timing. Le Concert d'Astrée, along with Les Sacqueboutiers, turns in a spirited but still clean reading of the score. Bostridge is an ardent Orfeo, revealing a more dramatic aspect to his singing that is very welcome; he has also makes an admirable stab at the idiosyncratic vocal ornamention of the period. Natalie Dessay throws aside notions of the white-voiced early music singer, and tears into La Musica's prologue with real flair. Véronique Gens shines in her brief moments as Proserpina, and Patrizia Ciofi manages to be genuinely entrancing as Euridice, even though she only appears a few times in the score.

No one has ever captured the urgent combination of drama and music that was the motivating force behind L'Orfeo any better than you'll hear on this disc.

The instrumentalists are superb, playing without some of the rasp (in the brass) that can be both colorful and irritating on other recordings. Haïm uses concert pitch A=465, which is about a half-tone higher than we're used to: Could this add to the urgency of this reading? While it tends to lighten the lower-voiced parts, it does add sheen to the higher ones. In short, this set is a treasure, giving us an Orfeo that seems anything but a museum piece.
--Robert Levine, [

Brand New 2CD + Bonus with Libretto Please click here to ask a question
Your question and answer privileges have been disabled.
You must log in to view questions and answers on this listing. We recommend reading questions before you make any purchases.
You must log in to ask or answer questions posted. We recommend reading questions before you make any purchases. Available only to approved bidders. You must be an authenticated member to ask questions Find out more about becoming authenticated. Your account is in debt Your current account balance is You must credit your account to use this feature.
Firearms licence #
Firearms licence holder name
First name is required
Last name is required
Your current account balance is Please note you will lose your question and answer privileges if your account is in debt for more than 2 weeks. Credit your account.
I confirm that I am over 18 years old.
To prevent your personal details being misused please do not put emails or phone numbers in questions. Failure to comply may result in the suspension of your account. The seller cannot add a Buy Now price once bidding has started.

Shipping options

  • Free shipping within New Zealand  
  • Seller does not allow pick-ups
  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

Payment options

Pay Now and Afterpay include:

Buyer Protection Learn More