Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (The Return of Ulysses)

This page lists all recordings of Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (The Return of Ulysses), by Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (1567-1643) on CD, SACD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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June 2015
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June 2015
Editor's Choice
August 2012

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Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria


Kresimir Spicer (Ulisse), Marjana Mijanovic (Penelope), Cyril Auvity (Telemaco), Éric Raffard (Giove)

Les Arts Florissants, William Christie

Subtitles: Italian, English, French, Spanish

“An unequivocal triumph ... ravishingly beautiful … Christie achieves something approaching Monteverdian nirvana” Sunday Times

DVD Video

Region: 1

Format: NTSC

Up to 35% off Erato

Erato - 4906139

(DVD Video)

Normally: $18.00

Special: $15.12

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Live Recording from The Glyndebourne Festival Opera, 1973


Benjamin Luxon (Ulisse), Janet Baker (Penelope), Anne Howells (Minerva) & Robert Lloyd (Nettuno), Vivien Townley (Giunone), Ian Caley (Telemaco), Laureen Livingstone (Amore), David Hughes (Giove), Alexander Oliver (Iro), Ugo Trama (Antinoo), John Fryatt (Pisandro), Bernard Dickerson (Anfinomo), Richard Lewis (Eumete), Virginia Popova (Ericlea), John Wakefield (Eurimaco), Janet Hughes (Melanto), Annabel Hunt (Umana Fragilità)

The London Philharmonic Orchestra, Raymond Leppard (conductor) & Peter Hall (stage director)

Based on the Greek legend of Ulysses and his return to Ithaca after years in the Trojans wars, the opera Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria is one of the earliest operas of its kind. This seminal 1973 production is directed by Peter Hall and conducted by Raymond Leppard at the Glyndebourne Festival. The terrific cast and crew, particularly the outstanding Janet Baker and Benjamin Luxon, stage an impassioned production that is accentuated by the gorgeous visual design. Monteverdi’s music is of transcendental beauty. He took what had previously been rather monotonous, one-dimensional music drama and enriched it with a full musical expression complementing a coherent dramatic experience, picking up the existing art of drama. With full justification, he can therefore be called the real founder of opera.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo

Picture Format: 4:3

DVD Format: DVD 9 / NTSC

Subtitle Languages: IT (Original Language), DE, GB, FR, ES

Running Time: 148 mins

FSK: 0

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Arthaus Musik - 102308

(DVD Video)

$18.75

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Live Recording from The Zurich Opera House, 2002


Vesselina Kasarova (Pénélope), Dietrich Henschel (L’humanita Fragilita/ Ulisse), Malin Hartelius (Melanto), Jonas Kaufmann (Telemaco), Rudolf Schasching (Iro), Isabel Rey (Minerva/ Amorei) & Martina Jankovà (Fortuna/ Giunone)

Orchestra La Scintilla of The Zurich Opera House, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor) & Klaus-Michael Grüber (stage director)

Set Design by GILLES AILLAUD

Il Ritorno d‘Ulisse in Patria is based closely on the fi nal books of Homer‘s Odyssey and is hailed as the key work marking the threshold between the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Together with producer Klaus Michael Grüber, Nikolaus Harnoncourt strikes a new balance between musical polish and distillation of the essence of dramatic action. „It is a kind of ‘théâtre pauvre’, which works with a few carefully chosen and powerful symbols“, was how the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung reviewed the production. The main action takes place on little more than an angled revolving stage in front of a whitewashed wall which hints at the landscape of a Greek island. The sets have an apt simplicity, eschewing fussy detail and spectacular effects. The colours are cool, predominantly white, blue and black, transporting us to a modern day. Harnoncourt’s musical drive has become „a touch gentler“, wrote the Berlin daily Tagesspiegel. „Not that Harnoncourt is now leaving things to chance or to the discretion of his exquisite musicians. But the way he communicates – his entire rostrum manner – seems to have become more relaxed, calmer, rounder, and both he and the listener are amply rewarded by the sound which results.“

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: DVD 9, NTSC

Subtitles: IT (Original Language), DE, GB, FR, ES, JP. KOR

Running Time: 155 mins

FSK: 0

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Arthaus Musik - 101660

(DVD Video)

$31.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Sung in Italian


Kobie van Rensburg (Ulisse), Christine Rice (Penelope), Cyril Auvity (Telemaco) & Joseph Cornwell (Eumete)

Les Arts Florissants, William Christie (conductor) & Pierluigi Pizzi (director)

Recorded: Teatro Real, Madrid, April 2009.

This is the second Monteverdi opera with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, made possible by collaboration between Dynamic and Teatro Real.

Dedicated to the performance of Baroque music on original instruments, the vocal and instrumental ensemble Les Arts Florissants is one of the most renowned and respected early music groups in Europe and around the world.

The DVD also features interviews with William Christie, Kobie van Rensburg and Christine Rice.

“Les Arts Florissants and William Christie have an individualised spontaneity yet breathe as one.” The Independent

Picture Format: 16:9

Audio Format: DD 5.1 / LPCM 2.0

Region Code: 0 – All regions

Running Time: 175 Min approx

Notes: I – GB - D - F

Subtitles: I - GB - D - F - SP

“The staging, direction and costumes are elegant, always adding a layer of explanation; the lighting is atmospheric but never murky; and the sound is clear and resonant. Above all, this production shows pace, coherence and understanding.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2010 *****

Building a Library

DVD Recommendation - June 2015

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Dynamic - 33641

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

$31.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria


Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Ulisse), Graciela Araya (Penelope), Toby Spence (Telemaco), Jaco Huijpen (Antinoo), Christopher Gillett (Pisandro), Diana Montague (Minerva), Brian Asawa (Anfinomo)

Baroque Ensemble Orchestra, Glen Wilson, stage direction by Pierre Audi

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 176 Mins
SOUND: DTS SURROUND / LPCM STEREO
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT/NL

“a masterpiece of controlled timing and patience” Gramophone Magazine

“A strikingly staged, beautifully sung production” New York Times

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: PAL

Opus Arte Clearance - up to 65% off

Opus Arte - OA0926D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $37.75

Special: $13.21

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria


Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Ulisse), Graciela Araya (Penelope), Toby Spence (Telemaco), Jaco Huijpen (Antinoo), Christopher Gillett (Pisandro), Diana Montague (Minerva), Brian Asawa (Anfinomo)

Baroque Ensemble Orchestra, Glen Wilson, stage direction by Pierre Audi

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 176 Mins
SOUND: DTS SURROUND / LPCM STEREO
SUBTITLES: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT/NL

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Opus Arte Clearance - up to 65% off

Opus Arte - OA0927D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $37.75

Special: $18.87

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Opera in two acts based on Homer's Odyssey


Vesselina Kasarova (Penelope), Dietrich Henschel (Ulisse/Umana Fragilità), Jonas Kaufmann (Telemaco), Isabel Rey (Amore/Minerva), Martina Janková (La Fortuna/Giunone), Malin Hartelius (Melanto), Martin Zysset (Pisandro), Martin Oro (Anfinomo), Thomas Mohr (Eumete), Cornelia Kallisch (Ericlea), Boguslaw Bidzinski (Eurimaco), Reinhard Mayr (Antinoo), Pavel Daniluk (Nettuno), Anton Scharinger (Giove), Giuseppe Scorsin (il Tempo)

Orchestra la Scintilla of the Opernhaus Zürich, Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Recording Date: 2002

Place of recording: From the Opernhaus Zürich

Running Time: 155 min

Picture Format: 16:9

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1

Menu Languages PAL: D, F, GB, SP

Subtitle Languages PAL: D, F, GB, I, SP

Menu Languages NTSC: F, GB, JP, SP

Subtitle Languages NTSC: F, GB, I, JP, SP

“The renowned collaborations between Zurich Opera and Nikolaus Harnoncourt in the 1970s and early 80s were crucial milestones in projecting historically aware performance away from historicism-for-its-own-sake, towards vitally conceived productions for contemporary audiences.
Il Ritorno enjoyed great success in 1977 in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's imaginative staging: Harnoncourt's opulent instrumental palette lifted the hearts of many, though only the eyebrows of the purists. In this musical 'revival' to celebrate 25 years of the swashbuckling original, Harnoncourt allows the nobility of the score to roll unimpeded by the driven intensity of the older recorded account on Teldec from 1971.
The vocal contributions are more eloquent than ever, with outstanding contributions from Vesselina Kasarova and Dietrich Henschel. Can Monteverdi have ever heard this opera sung with such an extraordinary range of vocal beauty and immediacy of expression? This extends to all the characters.
Of the two caveats here, the durability of Harnoncourt's big-band score with its bold instrumental canvas is likely to be a source of debate. Monteverdi left only a shell of his musical genius and, as convention dictated, the performers filled in the rest. The logic of using the greatest array of coloration to suit the context of characterisation and emotional states is highly plausible for all those who value music drama – and Monteverdi, more to the point – in pastels rather than charcoal. Yet there are moments when the spirit of realisation enters the realm of transcription, especially in the richly endowed brass ensembles used for divine intervention. A later baroque soundworld occasionally prevails, and the luminosity of the moment is lost. However, the warm glow of assured fidelity in 'Hor di parlar e tempo' – where Ulysses's accompagnato recitative lends authenticity to the composer's primal communicative instincts – is ravishing and persuasive.
The DVD production is flawed only by some poor dubbing in Act 2.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: PAL

Arthaus Musik - 100352

(DVD Video)

$31.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria


Fernando Guimarães (Ulisse), Jennifer Rivera (Penelope), Aaron Sheehan (Telemaco), Leah Wool (Minerva), Owen McIntosh (Giove), Abigail Nims (Melanto), Daniel Auchincloss (Eumaeus), Sonja DuToit Tengblad (Juno), Ulysses Thomas (Antinous) & Marc Molomot (Irus)

Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman

Il ritorno d’Ulisse is unquestionably one of the three pillars that place Monteverdi among the greatest of opera composers; this recording marks the premiere of a new performing version by Martin Pearlman.

Portuguese tenor and baroque specialist Fernando Guimarães stars in the title role, alongside the internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera as his loving wife Penelope.

Il ritorno d’Ulisse was a relatively recent discovery, but following its authentication in the 1950s and revivals in Vienna and Glyndebourne, the opera has enjoyed new found popularity.

Martin Pearlman’s new performing version benefits from the same attention to detail that has ensured his reputation as a leading champion of period performance. His highly considered approach to all aspects of the score and performance ensure this version is true to Monteverdi’s original vision.

With a libretto drawing from Homer’s Odyssey, Il ritorno d’Ulisse is a riveting human drama with an enviable cast including: Abigail Nims (Melanto), Daniel Auchincloss (Eumaeus), Sonja DuToit Tengblad (Juno), Ulysses Thomas (Antinous), and Marc Molomot (Irus).

Founded in 1973 by Martin Pearlman, Boston Baroque is already familiar to an international audience with its critically acclaimed catalogue of recordings.

The three-time GRAMMY-nominated ensemble is widely regarded as ’one of the world’s premier period instruments bands’ (Fanfare).

Boston Baroque's recordings - of which Fanfare magazine wrote ’each one is an incomparable gem’ - are heard by millions on classical radio stations in North America and Europe.

Boston Baroque's many career milestones include the American premiere of Rameau's Zoroastre; a Mozart opera series, and the American period-instrument premieres of Mozart's Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute; and a revelatory exploration of the Beethoven symphonies on period instruments.

“The strength of this issue is in its strong, youthful cast. The Penelope of Jennifer Rivera almost shakes my allegiance to Jacobs’s Bernarda Fink, with a limpid low mezzo of comparable beauty and expressive power, while Fernando Guimaraes’s Ulysses is heartbreaking in the moving recognition scene with Aaron Sheehan’s boyish Telemachus and Daniel Auchincloss’s devoted Eumaeus.” Sunday Times, 19th April 2015

“Guimarães as a multi dimensional Ulisse exploits his rich middle register. Jennifer Rivera deftly conveys the predicaments of the long-suffering Penelope...Pearlman's vision does not offer perfect answers but no individual performance has ever got everything right.” Gramophone Magazine, June 2015

“The most impressive performance comes from Aaron Sheehan (as Ulisse's son Telemaco) whose light lyrical voice delivers the music with utter naturalness.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2015 ***

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Linn - CKD451

(SACD - 3 discs)

$27.00

(also available to download from $30.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

CD Book


Christoph Prégardien (Ulisse), Bernarda Fink (Penelope), Christina Högman (Telemaco), Lorraine Hunt (Minerva), Dominique Visse (Pisandro), Mark Tucker (Anfinomo), David Thomas (Antinoo), Olivier Lallouette (Giove), Martina Borst (Amore), Michael Schopper (Nettuno)

Concerto Vocale, René Jacobs

"The result is a five-act opera which convinces far more readily than is raises doubts. Jacobs' cast is a strong one… there is no doubt that he has achieved a vital and stylistically fluent account." BBC Music Magazine

“It's Jacobs's comparative restraint that's powerfully dramatic, and in terms of the strength, depth and range of the casting, he has few equals...Prégardien is an impressive Ulysses to Bernarda Fink's powerful Penelope” BBC Music Magazine, November 2010

“the clarity of Pregardien’s voice, and the restrained but supportive accompaniment of Jacobs’ recording with his Concerto Vocale, allows every nuance of the words, and every chromatic inflections of the harmony to be conveyed.” CD Review, 14th June 2015

Harmonia Mundi Monteverdi Opera Edition - HML5901427/29

(CD - 3 discs)

$25.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Monteverdi: Orpheus, Odysseus & Poppea

Monteverdi: Orpheus, Odysseus & Poppea

Live from the Komische Oper Berlin, 2013


Monteverdi:

L'incoronazione di Poppea

arr. Elena Kats-Chernin

Brigitte Geller (Poppea), Roger Smeets (Nero), Helene Schneiderman (Ottavia), Theresa Kronthaler (Otho), Julia Giebel (Drusilla), Jens Larsen (Seneca), Tansel Akzeybek (Valletto), Ariana Strahl (Damigella / Das Schicksal), Thomas Michael Allen (Arnalta), Tom Erik Lie (Amme), Peter Renz (Amor), Annelie Sophie Müller (Die Tugend), Adrian Strooper (Liberto)

Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria

arr. Elena Kats-Chernin

Günter Papendell (Odysseus), Ezgi Kutlu (Penelope), Tansel Akzeybek (Telemachos), Peter Renz (Amor / Iros), Mirka Wagner (Melanto), Adrian Strooper (Eurymachos), Christiane Oertel (Eurykleia), Thomas Michael Allen (Eumaios), Jens Larsen (Die Zeit / Neptun / Antinoos), Christoph Späth (Pisandro / Jupiter), Tom Erik Lie (Amphinomos), Karolina Gumos (Das Schicksal / Juno), Katharina von Bülow (Minerva)

L'Orfeo

arr. Elena Kats-Chernin

Dominik Köninger (Orpheus), Julia Novikova (Eurydike), Peter Renz (Amor), Theresa Kronthaler (Sylvia / Proserpina), Alexey Antonov (Pluto), Stefan Sevenich (Charon), Frank Soehnle (Figuren Orpheus und Eurydike)


Orchestra and Chorus of the Komische Oper Berlin, André de Ridder (conductor) & Barrie Kosky (stage director)

Monteverdi’s operas are rightly considered as the first masterpieces in opera history. Much like DNA, they contain all characteristics of today’s opera, 400 years later. Elena Kats-Chernin, a successful international composer from Tashkent, used Monteverdi’s musical material, even though it barely contains any concrete orchestration details, and has provided a new and idiosyncratic instrumentation. Similar to what Monteverdi did in his time, Kats-Chernin incorporates various styles, from Jazz, Klezmer, to Tango and Ragtime into her style. This new creation of Monteverdi’s opera uses the traditional orchestral instrumentation, and adds exotic instruments from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Western Africa. Strong, comic, enthralling, stark and sensitive images, with which Barrie Kosky fascinates the audience, stirring them to raucous applause.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, dts-HD Master Audio 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

Subtitles: DE (Original Language), GB, FR, TR

3 Blu-ray Discs: 1 x 25 GB (Single Layer)

& 2 x 50 GB (Dual Layers)

Resolution: 1080i High Definition (Upscale)

Running Time: ca. 462 mins

FSK: 12

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Arthaus Musik - 109127

(Blu-ray - 3 discs)

$81.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

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