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Ken Meltzer
Fanfare, September 2019

HANDEL, G.F. / LEO, L.: Rinaldo (1718 Naples version) [Opera] (Festival della Valle d'Itria, 2018) (NTSC) DYN-37831
HANDEL, G.F. / LEO, L.: Rinaldo (1718 Naples version) [Opera] (Festival della Valle d'Itria, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) DYN-57831
HANDEL, G.F. / LEO, L.: Rinaldo, HWV 7 (1718 Naples version) (Iervolino, Accademia del Belcanto Rodolfo Celletti, La Scintilla Orchestra, Luisi) CDS7831.03

…The playing of the period instrument Orchestra La Scintilla and conducting of Fabio Luisi are on a similarly high level. The Orchestra plays with breathtaking precision, and revels in the penetrating impact of the period instrument sonorities. Luisi expertly maintains the forward momentum of the performance (no mean feat in expansive Baroque opera), all the while providing the vocalists ample room for individual expression. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

John W. Barker
American Record Guide, July 2019

HANDEL, G.F. / LEO, L.: Rinaldo (1718 Naples version) [Opera] (Festival della Valle d'Itria, 2018) (NTSC) DYN-37831
HANDEL, G.F. / LEO, L.: Rinaldo (1718 Naples version) [Opera] (Festival della Valle d'Itria, 2018) (Blu-ray, HD) DYN-57831

Handel originally wrote the role of the title character for an alto castrato, and he took that part in the 1718 Naples production; a female alto, Iervolino, sings it here, and very ably, with ample voice. Another alto castrato sang Eustazio for Handel, was replaced in 1718 by a female contralto (wife of the bass, Boschi, who played Argante), and is so assigned here. On the other hand, Handel’s Goffredo was a transvestite contralto, but the role was given in 1718 and here to a tenor. Under the steady but supportive direction of Luisi, these singers are all very good. Beside the above-mentioned Iervalino, I was impressed by Castellano as a plucky Almirena. But the star of the show is undoubtedly Remigio, who is an intense and superbly sung Armida. Her performance is the best reason for wanting this release.

…The audio release can be pleasant general listening, including Remigio’s fine performance. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Mike Ashman
Gramophone, June 2019

Debus leads a sprightly, well-integrated performance whose lightness makes an attractive and idiomatic contrast to those two older recordings. He is not afraid to vary his tempos in keeping (presumably) with an interesting-looking stage production that sometimes dresses the animals as human beings. Nor does he shy away from the score’s many darker corners, like the music surrounding Harasta’s shooting of the Vixen, or the quite epic—but never unnecessarily grand—evocations of nature and time passing.

Neal manages a fine balance of non-sentimental emotion as he takes on board the changes in his life and the loss of both the Vixen and dream girl Terynka. The impression thus given of the work as a chamber opera not deliberately blown up to ‘grand opera’ size suits the piece well and is matched here by preservation of an ideal stage/pit balance. No voice is covered, none of Janáček’s exceptional wind and brass detail is lost and the punctuating timpani are especially clearly recorded. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Lark Reviews, April 2019

Today we don’t welcome the idea of favourite works being ‘improved’ even if we stretch the stage presentation of Shakespeare or Verdi well beyond what they might have expected. However in the early eighteenth century there was no such hesitation and here we have an adaptation of Handel’s familiar score as represented by the manuscript found at Longleat which contains some Handel, some items by Leonardo Leo and a number of other unidentified pieces which seem to reflect the party pieces of the soloists who sang the version in Naples in 1718. It is a fascinating piece… © 2019 Lark Reviews Read complete review

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