Voix des Arts
, July 2015
HANDEL, G.F.: Rinaldo [Puppet-Show] (Handel-Festival Halle, 2014) (1 DVD + 2 CD set) (NTSC) 102207
HANDEL, G.F.: Rinaldo [Puppet-Show] (Handel-Festival Halle, 2014) (1 Blu-Ray + 2 CD set) (Blu-ray, HD) 108125
The many beauties of this marionette production of Rinaldo illustrate the love, goodness, and optimism that flow through Handel’s score without ignoring the danger, violence, and extremism that lurk in its shadows. Realism is rarely the goal of puppetry, but the emotions of Rinaldo are often more visceral in this production than in many performances in which living, breathing singers occupy the stage. The movements of the marionettes are uncannily lifelike, and it is enlightening to discover as the performance progresses how an entertainment that is indelibly associated with children engenders one of the most mature accounts of Rinaldo in the catalogue.
Led by Wolfgang Katschner with reliably appropriate tempi and an unerring cumulative sense of direction, the account of Handel’s score given by Lautten Compagney Berlin is distinguished by a pervasive elegance that never inhibits the expression of red-blooded emotions. Hearing a performance as good as this one, it is all the more remarkable that Rinaldo is the work of a composer who was only twenty-six years old at the time of its première. © 2015 Voix des Arts Read complete review