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Recording Date: 2001 <br>
Place of recording: Händelfestspiele Halle 2001 <br>
Running Time: Opera: 192 min, Special features: 133 min <br>
Picture Format: 16:9 <br>
Sound Format: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 <br>
Menu Languages PAL: D, GB, F, SP <br>
Subtitle Languages PAL: D, GB, F, SP <br>
Menu Languages NTSC: GB, F, SP, JP <br>
Subtitle Languages NTSC: GB, F, SP, JP <br>
Specials: Making-of, Interviews, Historical film footage <br>
“This is an uncommonly interesting examination of how a great Handel opera may be performed without insisting that only Baroque specialists need apply. Some of the singers here aren't obvious Handelians: Elizabeth Norberg-Schulz has something of the attack and occasionally the cutting edge of a lyricdramatic soprano, while Thomas Randle quite often puts his voice under pressure in response to the extreme demands of Handel's first and most intensely dramatic major tenor role. And yet one hardly ever wishes for more 'authentic' voices. Both singers are very musical, well aware of the requirements of Handel's style; both, especially Randle, are highly accomplished actors – it's a minor but significant point that when either of them was on screen I neither watched nor needed the subtitles. Both, not wholly irrelevantly, are strikingly handsome. That they can be so effective is largely due to Jonathan Miller's very plain but highly intelligent production, to Trevor Pinnock's alert and sympathetic direction and to the wonderfully intimate theatre at Bad Lauchstadt where the opera was filmed as part of the 50th Halle Handel Festival in 2001. The set is basic – a few mottled gold panels – the costumes are sumptuous, but in a theatre this size everyone in the audience can see facial expressions and the slightest gestures, and Miller has concentrated his direction on this. The result, at such a moment as when Bajazet and his daughter Asteria resolve on suicide rather than further humiliation by Tamerlano is intensely moving, as is the exquisite duet in which Asteria and her lover Andronico vow that their love will even survive her death. Handelian voices or no, it is in short an utterly Handelian performance. The orchestra is splendid and Pinnock's pacing of the drama ideal.”
“This is an instance where the DVD...is greatly preferable to the CDs, with solo voices anturally caught and strongly projected against the beautifully recorded and balanced orchestra...It is a strong team of soloists...Thomas Randle gives a vigorously resonant account of the role of Bajazet...The DVD is strongly documented and includes a 'read the score' facility”
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