Soloists, The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman - Thomas Arne: Artaxerxes (2009) 2CDs

Posted By: Designol
Soloists, The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman - Thomas Arne: Artaxerxes (2009) 2CDs

Thomas Arne - Artaxerxes (2009) 2CDs
Christopher Robson, countertenor; Ian Partridge, tenor; Patricia Spence, mezzo-soprano
Richard Edgar-Wilson, tenor; Catherine Bott, soprano; Philippa Hyde, soprano;
The Parley of Instruments; Roy Goodman, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 640 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 340 Mb (incl 5%) | Scans included
Genre: Classical, Opera | Label: Hyperion | # CDD22073 | Time: 02:20:20

Artaxerxes, premiered in London in 1762, was the first full-length opera seria sung in English. It proved a great success and helped to revive the fortunes of Thomas Arne, whose career had been in the doldrums. The opera featured his new protégée and mistress Charlotte Brent in the role of Mandane and Arne lavished attention on her music. Mandane’s arias and those of the hero Arbaces provide many of the opera’s high points, with their rich orchestrations, virtuoso vocal parts and captivating tunes. Though based on the Handelian model, Artaxerxes shows both Arne’s talent at the later galant style and his penchant for folk-like, pastoral airs. The results are mostly a delight (if a tad lightweight for the libretto’s blood ’n’ thunder deeds), with a variety of attractive arias further enhanced by Arne’s deft use of woodwind. Christopher Robson in the title role and Catherine Bott, thrilling as Mandane, head a fine team of singers: my only complaint is that Patricia Spence’s forceful Arbaces too often slips into shrill and strident mode. Roy Goodman conducts a lively Parley of Instruments and credit is due to Peter Holman for his skilful re-creation of some lost recitatives. Although no masterpiece, Artaxerxes re-emerges in this fine recording as a work of many charms.

Review by Graham Lock, BBC Music Magazine

A warm welcome to the first recording of this opera, a work of great historical importance and musically fascinating. Thomas Arne, the leading English composer of his time for the theatre, wanted to write serious as well as comic English operas, and decided that Italian opera seria should serve, on the literary side, as his model; he chose the most famous of all the Metastasio librettos, Artaserse, as the basis for his first (and last) attempt at the genre. It is generally supposed that the translation was his own work. He performed the opera at Covent Garden in 1762 with considerable success and it remained a favourite for many years. He never followed up that success, and nor, regrettably, did anyone else. But perhaps there were reasons for that. Metastasio, when translated into English, provides a libretto in rather elaborate, flowery language which is not really very well suited to the kind of music that English composers traditionally wrote for the theatre – and it would have worked even less well had Arne tried a more Italianate style. Arne did not employ the Italian da capo aria but kept, for the most part, to the simpler and more direct forms, even strophic ones, used in the English theatre. English vocal music of this period has quite a distinctive manner, tuneful, rather short-breathed, often with a faintly ‘folky’ flavour. It does not naturally reflect the exalted emotional manner of an opera seria text. This statement possibly has wider implications about the English temperament as well as the English language; but as far as Artaxerxes is concerned the result is a curious hybrid.
Nevertheless, the music is enormously enjoyable, full of good melodies, richly orchestrated, never (unlike Italian operas of the time) long-winded. Several of its numbers became popular favourites in Arne’s time, and for long after – many readers will know the splendid and very brilliant final air, “The soldier tir’d of war’s alarms”, which Dame Joan Sutherland has recorded (Decca, 12/60 – nla). The story of Artaxerxes is a typical Metastasian one, with ‘treasonous designs’ and misunderstandings, and plenty of opportunity for the expression of strong and varied emotion. Much of the best and most deeply felt music goes to Arbaces, originally a castrato role written for the famous Tenducci, at mezzo-soprano pitch: here it is very finely and expressively sung by Patricia Spence. She begins with a big D major air demanding considerable agility and continues with a richly accompanied piece, very original in line: then in Act 2 she has a fine two-tempo air and an eloquent farewell piece as Arbaces is taken off in chains (suspected of regicide); and lastly there is the admired “Water parted from the sea”, a minuet air, very English in style. Spence uses more vibrato than anyone else in the cast but her warmth of tone and expressive power are ample justification. Mandane, Arbaces’s beloved, composed for Arne’s mistress Charlotte Brent, is another rewarding part and is finely sung here by Catherine Bott, bright in tone and true in pitch and scrupulous in her verbal articulation, who can encompass both the charming English ditties and the more Italianate virtuoso pieces – the semiquavers in “The soldier tir’d” are dispatched with real brilliance and precision. The opera begins with a duet for these two that hints at (and indeed could have influenced) Mozart’s “Ruhe sanft” in Zaide.
Philippa Hyde sings very gracefully and charmingly in the role of Semira but does not always bring sufficient clarity to the words. As the conspiring Artabanes, Ian Partridge sings as clearly and intelligently as always. The role of Artaxerxes, the king, is taken by Christopher Robson, an excellent stylist, though this castrato part is bound to be testing for a countertenor and he is often covered by the orchestra. The smaller part of Rimenes, an insinuating traitor, is neatly sung and characterized by Richard Edgar-Wilson.
Arne’s orchestral style here is very rich, with much prominent wind writing; sometimes, as I have indicated, the singers – given less prominence by the engineers than one might expect – do not ride the full textures very comfortably. Roy Goodman’s accompaniments are not generally very subtle or carefully shaded. The original score does not survive complete, a victim (like so many) of the frequent theatre fires of the time; Peter Holman has done a predictably unobtrusive and stylish job of reconstructing some of the lost recitatives for this recording. This is certainly a set that I can recommend warmly to anyone curious about this byway of eighteenth-century opera, and to anyone who is drawn to Arne’s very individual and appealing melodic style.'

Review by Stanley Sadie, Gramophone

Soloists, The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman - Thomas Arne: Artaxerxes (2009) 2CDs



Soloists, The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman - Thomas Arne: Artaxerxes (2009) 2CDs



Artaxerxes: Christopher Robson, countertenor
Artabanes: Ian Partridge, tenor
Arbaces: Patricia Spence, mezzo-soprano
Rimenes: Richard Edgar-Wilson, tenor
Mandane: Catherine Bott, soprano
Semira: Philippa Hyde, soprano
Chorus: Colin Campbell, Charles Gibbs, bass

The Parley of Instruments
Roy Goodman, conductor

Tracklist:

CD1:

01. Overture (05:06)
02. Act I - Recit.: Still silence reigns around (00:28)
03. Act I - Duettino: Fair Aurora, pr'ythee stay (02:18)
04. Act I - Recit.: Alas, thou know'st that for my love of thee (01:17)
05. Act I - Air: Adieu, thou lovely Youth (03:07)
06. Act I - Recit.: O cruel parting! (01:09)
07. Act I - Air: Amid a thousand racking woes (04:28)
08. Act I - Recit.: Be firm my heart (02:00)
09. Act I - Air: Behold, on Lethe's dismal Strand (03:36)
10. Act I - Recit.: Stay, Artaxerxes, stay (00:30)
11. Act I - Air: Fair Semira, lovely Maid (03:07)
12. Act I - Recit.: I fear some dread Disaster (01:28)
13. Act I - Air: When real Joys we miss (01:57)
14. Act I - Recit.: Ye Gods, Protectors of the Persian Empire (00:33)
15. Act I - Air: How hard is the Fate (03:38)
16. Act I - Recit.: Where do I fly? (03:55)
17. Act I - Air: Thy Father! away, I Renounce the soft Claim (01:37)
18. Act I - Recit.: Ye cruel Gods, what Crime have I committed? (00:18)
19. Act I - Air: Acquit thee of this foul Offence (01:32)
20. Act I - Recit.: Appearance, I must own, is strong against me (00:47)
21. Act I - Air: O too lovely, too unkind (04:48)
22. Act I - Recit.: Dear & beloved Shade of my dead Father (00:47)
23. Act I - Air: Fly, soft Ideas, fly (05:19)
24. Act II - Recit.: Guards, speed ye to the Tower (00:40)
25. Act II - Air: In Infancy, our Hopes & Fears (02:09)
26. Act II - Recit.: So far my great Resolve succeeds (01:31)
27. Act II - Air: Disdainful you fly me (02:59)
28. Act II - Recit.: Why my dear Friend, so pensive, so inactive? (02:10)
29. Act II - Air: To sigh & complain (01:51)
30. Act II - Recit.: How many Links to dire Misfortune's Chain! (01:13)
31. Act II - Air: If o'er the cruel Tyrant Love (02:41)
32. Act II - Recit.: Which fatal Evil shall I first oppose? (00:26)
33. Act II - Air: If the River's swelling Waves (02:44)

CD2:

01. Act II - Recit.: Ye solid Pillars of the Persian Empire (05:26)
02. Act II - Air: By that belov'd Embrace (03:22)
03. Act II - Recit.: Ah Me! at poor Arbaces parting (00:49)
04. Act II - Air: Monster, away! (02:34)
05. Act II - Recit.: See, lov'd Semira! (01:54)
06. Act II - Air: Thou, like the glorious Sun (03:24)
07. Act III - Arietta: Why is Death for ever late (03:04)
08. Act III - Recit.: Arbaces! (01:25)
09. Act III - Air: Water parted from the Sea (02:43)
10. Act III - Recit.: That Front, secure in conscious Innocence (00:22)
11. Act III - Air: Tho' oft a Cloud, with envious Shade (03:46)
12. Act III - Recit.: My Son, Arbaces - where art thou retir'd? (02:16)
13. Act III - Air: O let the Danger of a Son (02:12)
14. Act III - Recit.: Ye adverse Gods! (00:45)
15. Act III - Air: O, much lov'd Son, if Death (05:19)
16. Act III - Recit.: Perhaps the King releas'd Arbaces (01:25)
17. Act III - Air: Let not Rage thy Bosom firing (04:16)
18. Act III - Recit.: What have I done! alas, I vainly thought (00:26)
19. Act III - Air: 'Tis not true, that in our Grief (04:59)
20. Act III - Recit.: Nor here my searching Eyes can find Mandane (01:13)
21. Act III - Duetto: For thee I live, my Dearest (03:42)
22. Act III - Recit.: To you my People, much belov'd, I offer (02:36)
23. Act III - Air: The Soldier, tir'd of War's Alarms (03:26)
24. Act III - Recit.: Behold my King, Arbaces at thy Feet (02:49)
25. Act III - Chorus: Live to us, to Empire live (03:29)


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The Parley Of Instruments, Roy Goodman / Arne - Artaxerxes - CD1

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Test CRC C9CE8918
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foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2016-10-18 15:47:06

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: The Parley Of Instruments, Roy Goodman / Arne - Artaxerxes - CD1
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
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DR15 -8.76 dB -30.49 dB 1:28 12-Act I - Recit.: I fear some dread Disaster
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DR12 -12.79 dB -30.33 dB 0:18 18-Act I - Recit.: Ye cruel Gods, what Crime have I committed?
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––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 33
Official DR value: DR14

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
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Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 606 kbps
Codec: FLAC
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Exact Audio Copy V1.1 from 23. June 2015

EAC extraction logfile from 16. September 2016, 8:41

The Parley Of Instruments, Roy Goodman / Arne - Artaxerxes - CD2

Used drive : HL-DT-STDVDRAM GU70N Adapter: 1 ID: 0

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Used output format : User Defined Encoder
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Add ID3 tag : No
Command line compressor : C:\Program Files (x86)\Exact Audio Copy\Flac\flac.exe
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foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2016-10-18 15:47:31

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Analyzed: The Parley Of Instruments, Roy Goodman / Arne - Artaxerxes - CD2
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR16 -3.05 dB -28.37 dB 5:27 01-Act II - Recit.: Ye solid Pillars of the Persian Empire
DR12 -3.91 dB -24.68 dB 3:22 02-Act II - Air: By that belov'd Embrace
DR14 -10.01 dB -30.49 dB 0:50 03-Act II - Recit.: Ah Me! at poor Arbaces parting
DR15 -1.24 dB -22.98 dB 2:34 04-Act II - Air: Monster, away!
DR14 -13.90 dB -32.77 dB 1:55 05-Act II - Recit.: See, lov'd Semira!
DR12 -7.81 dB -25.43 dB 3:24 06-Act II - Air: Thou, like the glorious Sun
DR14 -8.33 dB -28.69 dB 3:04 07-Act III - Arietta: Why is Death for ever late
DR16 -8.21 dB -28.74 dB 1:26 08-Act III - Recit.: Arbaces!
DR14 -3.87 dB -24.32 dB 2:44 09-Act III - Air: Water parted from the Sea
DR9 -17.18 dB -36.19 dB 0:22 10-Act III - Recit.: That Front, secure in conscious Innocence
DR14 -3.68 dB -25.61 dB 3:46 11-Act III - Air: Tho' oft a Cloud, with envious Shade
DR15 -11.60 dB -31.84 dB 2:16 12-Act III - Recit.: My Son, Arbaces - where art thou retir'd?
DR13 -4.44 dB -25.71 dB 2:13 13-Act III - Air: O let the Danger of a Son
DR12 -10.76 dB -27.45 dB 0:46 14-Act III - Recit.: Ye adverse Gods!
DR14 -6.57 dB -26.28 dB 5:19 15-Act III - Air: O, much lov'd Son, if Death
DR14 -8.95 dB -31.03 dB 1:25 16-Act III - Recit.: Perhaps the King releas'd Arbaces
DR16 -6.09 dB -27.91 dB 4:17 17-Act III - Air: Let not Rage thy Bosom firing
DR12 -13.19 dB -33.48 dB 0:26 18-Act III - Recit.: What have I done! alas, I vainly thought
DR13 -7.36 dB -27.18 dB 5:00 19-Act III - Air: 'Tis not true, that in our Grief
DR14 -9.08 dB -28.36 dB 1:13 20-Act III - Recit.: Nor here my searching Eyes can find Mandane
DR14 -2.31 dB -22.26 dB 3:42 21-Act III - Duetto: For thee I live, my Dearest
DR15 -5.62 dB -28.25 dB 2:37 22-Act III - Recit.: To you my People, much belov'd, I offer
DR14 -5.48 dB -24.12 dB 3:27 23-Act III - Air: The Soldier, tir'd of War's Alarms
DR17 -5.53 dB -28.31 dB 2:50 24-Act III - Recit.: Behold my King, Arbaces at thy Feet
DR13 -2.23 dB -19.47 dB 3:30 25-Act III - Chorus: Live to us, to Empire live
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Number of tracks: 25
Official DR value: DR14

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 605 kbps
Codec: FLAC
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Soloists, The Parley of Instruments, Roy Goodman - Thomas Arne: Artaxerxes (2009) 2CDs

All thanks to original releaser - A-Z

More interesting music in My Blog