Vivaldi: Ercole Sul Termodonte (2cd) / Biondi
Rolando Villazón (Ercole), Patrizia Ciofi (Orizia), Diana Damrau (Martesia), Joyce DiDonato (Ippolita), Vivica Genaux (Antiope), Topi Lehtipuu (Telemone), Philippe Jaroussky (Alceste), Romina Basso (Teseo) Europa Galante, Fabio Biondi
Fabio Biondi, who was deeply involved in the reconstruction of this lost score, is surrounded here by a stunning cast of stars – Joyce DiDonato, Vivica Genaux, Diana Damrau, Philippe Jaroussky, Rolando Villazón – who come together as an ensemble of sumptuous unity and balance. In 1723, at a time when he was very short of regular employment, Vivaldi was invited to compose his first Roman opera, to a libretto based on the ninth task of Hercules. Vivaldi gave of his best, including some hits from his earlier operas, and created a masterwork that exemplified his expressive range and offered a catalogue of striking orchestral and harmonic effects. The opera was such a triumph that the Pope himself requested a performance.