Vivaldi: Armida al campo d’Egitto, RV699-A; Tito Manlio, RV738-A; Orlando furioso, RVAnh84; Semiramide, RV733

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COMPOSERS: Vivaldi
LABELS: NAIVE
ALBUM TITLE: Vivaldi
WORKS: Armida al campo d’Egitto, RV699-A; Tito Manlio, RV738-A; Orlando furioso, RVAnh84; Semiramide, RV733
PERFORMER: Lorenzo Regazzo (bass); Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini
CATALOGUE NO: OP 30415
In a well-contrasted programme Lorenzo Regazzo, with Rinaldo Alessandrini and his Concerto Italiano, presents a rewarding selection of bass recitatives and arias from Vivaldi’s operas. Interspersed with these are a couple of opera sinfonias and a Concerto in B flat (RV 162) whose first movement shares material with the preceding aria from the substantially lost pastoral, La Silvia. Regazzo has a well-focused, warmly timbred bass voice which he is able to project with authority. This particularly benefits the warrior-like arias such as ‘Se il cor guerriero’ (from Tito Manlio) – a fine example of Vivaldi’s evident rapport with the bass register. Furthermore, Regazzo is well able to sustain a dramatic scena such as the mad scene from Orlando furioso which follows Vivaldi’s earlier 1714 version of the opera rather than the 1727 revision upon which the recent complete version of the piece is based (available on a BBC Music Magazine Award-winning recording on the Naïve label, OP30393).

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Among the many other delights here is the affecting ‘Gelido in ogni vena’ (Farnace) and the splendid ‘Terrible è lo scempio’ whose music belongs to Act I of Tito Manlio; however, in a spirit of seemingly plausible conjecture to be found elsewhere in the programme, it is here reset within the third Act of the otherwise incomplete La Silvia. Regazzo is matched throughout by clean, dynamic and sympathetic instrumental playing. This is altogether a fine recital. Nicholas Anderson