Composed for the Carnival season in Verona in 1735, Bajazet is a ‘pasticcio’ opera based on the familiar story of the eponymous Turkish sultan’s imprisonment at the hands of the Tartar tyrant Tamerlane. As such, it openly uses arias by other composers, including Hasse, Broschi and Giacomelli, as well as re-cycled pieces from Vivaldi’s own operas (L’Olimpiade, Giustino, Farnace, Semiramide and Montezuma among them). But this is no mere patchwork of recycled numbers. All the ‘borrowed’ arias are expertly placed within the dramatic fabric of the work and are held together with richly composed recitatives. What we end up with is the best of the best in terms of Neapolitan-style opera – tuneful, virtuosic and passionate. Virtually every number in this recording is a highlight. What really lifts the recording is the quality of the performances. There are no holes or flaws among the experienced cast. David Daniels makes a fine Tamerlane – slippery and cruel – while Marijana Mijanovic’s Asteria packs a powerful dramatic punch. Top marks too for Vivica Genaux in the technically demanding role of Irene. Ildebrando D’Arcangelo makes a commanding Bajazet, although his tough dignity comes at the loss of some sensitivity.
David Krakauer is one of the greatest of all modern Klezmer clarinetists. A veteran of countless bands and ensembles and a founding member of the Klezmatics, his ensemble Klezmer Madness has been forging new roads in the world of Jewish music since the late 1980s. David and Zorn have a long history and friendship that began with Zorn's legendary Kristallnacht recording of 1992, followed thru with David’s guest appearances in various Masada ensembles and the release of his first CD with Klezmer Madness on Tzadik. Here David takes a variety of Masada compositions back to their roots, interpreting them brilliantly as traditional (and not-so-traditional) Klezmer tunes. A fascinating meeting of old and new by two of the most creative musicians in Modern Jewish music!
Led by Christopher Hogwood, the Academy of Ancient Music has made many renowned recordings of Handel's music-particularly the oratorios. The beloved Messiah heads up this 8-CD set, followed by Esther; La Resurezzione , and, making its return to the international catalog after an absence of several years, the 1985 recording of Athalia -with none other than Joan Sutherland in the title role! Recorded in London, 1979-85.