HANDEL Ottone 4831814

"Ottone" captures the beauty and excitement of Handel's music and this rare recording breathes new life into one of the master's greatest works . . .

. . . [George Petrou gives] one of his strongest recorded performances . . . Owing both to his galvanizing conducting and Il Pomo d'Oro's fantastic playing, this is the rare Handel recording that is as gripping as any staged performance . . . [Pavel Kudinov delivers Emireno's arias] with singing of vigor and virtuosity . . . there is no better-qualified modern interpreter of Adelberto's music than countertenor Xavier Sabata . . . Hallenberg's performance as Gismonda in this "Ottone" is a milestone. From her first line of recitative, she commandeers the opera's drama . . . Lauren Snouffer besieges the listener's heart, and her success is indisputable . . . it is the combination of honesty and taste that makes her singing in this "Ottone" extraordinarily satisfying . . . [Cencić sings with] muscle and musicality. Alternately sensual, serene, and rabble-rousing, Cencic's timbre possesses both the lower-register resonance and the bold masculinity that Ottone's music requires . . . "Deh! non dir, che molle amante" is wondrous . . . The gleam that his voice projects as he joins Snouffer in "A'teneri affetti il cor s'abbandoni" evokes irrepressible delight . . . a passionately-sung, sumptuously-played examination . . . singing of the quality heard on this recording is always relevant.

L'engagement des interprètes et la grande cohésion sonore et expressive (amplitude des dynamiques et des nuances de l'orchestre sur instruments anciens de Geroge Petrou) font toute la différence . . . Beaucoup ne verront dans cette lecture qu'une nouvelle approche habile, engagée, efficace. Les producteurs vont au delà: ils savent exprimer sous la musique, l'éloquence du théâtre, le surgissement des individus. En "Ottone", Max Emanuel Cencic trouve le ton juste entre gravité et lassitude d'exister . . . On aime ce Haendel sans pompe ni effets flatteurs . . . Les femmes rehaussent davantage l'éclat d'une partition construite comme une pièce de théâtre: Ann Hallenberg demeure onctueuse et articulée dans un rôle de marâtre . . . [la piquante Lauren Snouffer qui] relève le pari d'un caractère à la fois virtuose et profond . . . le sens du drame, le souci de clarté renforcent l'impact de sa prestation . . . George Petrou nuance, cisèle, sait battre le fer et caresser les sentiments d'un drame qu'il est urgent de revoir sur la scène lyrique.