Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

This page lists all recordings of L'Orfeo, 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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December 2005
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November 2007
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May 2017
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May 2017
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May 2017
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May 2017
Editor's Choice
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All recordings

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Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo


Ian Bostridge (Orfeo), Natalie Dessay (La Musica), Patrizia Ciofi (Euridice), Véronique Gens (Proserpina), Alice Coote (Messaggiera), Sonia Prina (Speranza), Carolyn Sampson (Ninfa), Paul Agnew (Eco/Pastore), Christopher Maltman (Apollo/Pastore), Lorenzo Regazzo (Plutone), Mario Luperi (Caronte), Pascal Bertin, Richard Burkhard (Pastori)

Le Concert d'Astrée, European Voices, Emmanuelle Haïm

Monteverdi’s retelling of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, composed for the court of Mantua, is the earliest opera to hold a firm place in the repertoire. Emmanuelle Haïm directs a full-blooded performance with star singers whose artistry is as valid here – in a groundbreaking Renaissance score – as in music of later eras: Ian Bostridge, Patrizia Ciofi, Natalie Dessay, Carolyn Sampson, Véronique Gens, Alice Coote, Sonia Prina, Christopher Maltman and Lorenzo Regazzo.

Summer Opera Sale

Erato The Opera Series - 9029593486

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $12.75

Special: $11.47

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo


William Matteuzzi (Orfeo), Sylva Pozzer (La Musica/Euridice), Sara Mingardo (La Messaggiera/Proserpina), Angela Bucci (La Speranza), Paolo Dal Dosso (Caronte), Loris Bertolo (Plutone), Gian Paolo Fagotto (Apollo)

Ensemble Instrumental, Sergio Vartolo

Reissue in the Brilliant Classics Opera Collection of this excellent “HIP” performance of Monteverdi’s ever popular L’Orfeo, history’s first real opera. Soloists include the crème of Baroque Voices: the great Sara Mingardo, Sylvia Pozzer, Gabriella Martellacci, Gianpaolo Fagotto and the inspiring and historically based direction of Sergio Vartolo.

All libretti are available on www.brilliantoperacollection.com.

Narrating the famous tale of the Thracian singer Orpheus and his quest to the underworld to bring his wife, Euridice, back to the land of the living, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo is one of the most enduringly popular of all operatic works.

Numerous performances continue to be staged to this day, and there are no signs of fading appreciation for the work, even four centuries after its first performance (in 1607). Sergio Vartolo’s fantastic, historically-informed interpretation presents an ideal opportunity for listeners to explore the reasons behind this opera’s vast and undiminishing popularity.

Monteverdi’s famed skill for giving full expression to a text’s meaning is particularly clear – shown, for example, in his careful deployment of dissonance for emotional impact, and in the immensely moving third-act aria. Beyond this, however, L’Orfeo’s ability to enthral audiences may lie in its celebration of the power and beauty of music; from the opening Prologue, where Music appears onstage to extol her virtues, to Orpheus’s ability to achieve the unthinkable and gain access to the underworld through his talent as a singer, music is the driving force of the opera’s action. This fantastic recording reveals the genius of Monteverdi’s work fully, featuring an exemplary and authentic interpretation that is the result of Sergio Vartolo’s thorough study of the score. Essential listening for any serious fans of opera, this set is also an excellent starting-point for exploring the music of Monteverdi, who has been dubbed the ‘creator of modern music’.

“Ably delivered by Itailan singers and players, but mannered effects - self-conscious musical direction, slow tempos - too often devalue idiomatic virtues.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2012 **

“The singing is on a high level with a very good chorus and first class contributions from the many secondary singers. Sylvia Pozzer who sings Musica as well as Euridice, is lovely and fresh voiced...[Matteuzzi] is an excellent Orfeo, expressive and able to vary his tone exquisitely...[Mingardo] sings gloriously in Act IV” MusicWeb International, 10th May 2013

Summer Opera Sale

Brilliant Classics Opera Collection - 94373BR

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $9.75

Special: $7.80

(also available to download from $20.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

CD Book


Laurence Dale (Orfeo), Efrat Ben-Nun (Euridice/La Musica), Jennifer Larmore (Messaggiera), Paul Gérimon (Caronte), Harry Peeters (Plutone), Bernarda Fink (Proserpina), Nicolas Rivenq (Apollo), Andreas Scholl (Speranza)

Concerto Vocale, René Jacobs

"Imaginative, involving,and beautifully recorded." *** CD OF THE MONTH, OPERA NOW , JANUARY 1996

Building a Library

Also Recommended - May 2017

Summer Opera Sale

Harmonia Mundi Monteverdi Opera Edition - HML5901553/54

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $18.50

Special: $13.87

(also available to download from $13.75)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo


Simon Keenlyside (Orfeo), Juanita Lascarro (Euridice, la Musica, Eco), Graciela Oddone (la Messaggiera), Martina Dike (Proserpina), Stephen Wallace (la Speranza, Pastore), Tomas Tòmasson (Plutone), Paul Gérimon, Caronte (Pastore), Mauro Utzeri (Apollo), Anne Cambier (Ninfa), Yann Beuron, John Bowen, René Linnenbank (Pastori, Spiriti)

Trisha Brown Company Concerto Vocale, Collegium Vocale Gent, René Jacobs

First seen at La Monnaie in Brussels on 13 May 1998, this production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo seen through the eyes of Trisha Brown and René Jacobs has become an operatic classic in a few short years.

This is doubtless because it offers a total symbiosis of music, text and movement – described by the critic of the Daily Telegraph of London as being ‘as close to the perfect dance opera as I have ever seen’.

Or to quote Gilles Macassar in Télérama: ‘In the pit and onstage, the Brussels production has only one watchword: mobility, nimbleness, dexterity. The singers run, fly, whirl like dancers defying gravity. From the flies down to the footlights, the whole theatre is under a fantastic spell.’ For Christophe Vetter, on ConcertoNet: ‘This Orfeo can be seen again and again with immense pleasure. . . . René Jacobs’s conducting continues to arouse admiration for its precision, its stylistic rigour, its inexhaustible inventiveness and its feeling for the contrasts so vital to this repertoire.’

“Monteverdi's Orfeo has many rivals and needs special reasons for us to see it again. One is the tremendous vocal cast - especially the lithe and mercurial Orfeo (Simon Keenlyside), the searingly affecting Messenger (Graciela Oddone) and sonorous Simon Gérmon as Caronte.” BBC Music Magazine

“close to perfection in terms of casting...you're never quite sure whether L'Orfeo is a dance work being sung or an opera being danced. At the heart of this production is a quite magnificent performance by Simon Keenlyside as an Orpheus who really could have charmed the gods. He can also act and dance.” Opera Now, Summer 2011

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Summer Opera Sale

Harmonia Mundi - HMD9909003/04

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $30.00

Special: $21.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo


Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Orfeo), Julianne Baird (Euridice), Anne Sofie von Otter (La Messaggiera), Lynne Dawson (La Musica), Nancy Argenta (Ninfa), Mary Nichols (La Speranza), John Tomlinson (Caronte), Diana Montague (Proserpina), Willard White (Plutone), Nigel Robson (Apollo)

English Baroque Soloists, Monteverdi Choir, His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts, John Eliot Gardiner

Summer Opera Sale

DG Archiv - 4192502

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $26.25

Special: $21.00

(also available to download from $16.75)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo


Jordi Savall directs Le Concert des Nations, La Capella Reial de Catalunya and the leading soloists of early opera in a beautiful period production of Monteverdi's favola in musica staged at Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu in 2002. Gilbert Deflo's stage direction reflects the sublime art and imagery found in Mantua's Palazzo Ducale, with its famous Hall of Mirrors, where the opera was first performed in 1607.

Region Code: All regions

Picture format: 16:9

Sound format: dts Surround / LPCM Stereo

Running time: 140 mins

Menu languages: GB

Subtitle languages: GB only

PLUS

L' Orfeo in Mantua - Stage director Gilbert Deflo, in Mantua's Palazzo Ducale, reveals the inspiration behind his staging of L'Orfeo

PICTURE FORMAT: 16:9
LENGTH: 140 MINS
SOUND: DTS SURROUND / LPCM STEREO
Subtitles: PAL - English, French, German, Spanish
NTSC - English

Building a Library

DVD Choice - May 2017

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Up to 70% off Opus Arte

Opus Arte - OA0843D

(DVD Video)

Normally: $28.00

Special: $22.40

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo


Emanuela Galli (La Musica / Euridice), Mirko Guadagnini (Orfeo), Marina De Liso (Messaggiera), Cristina Calzolari (Proserpina), Matteo Bellotto (Plutone), Josè Maria Lo Monaco (Speranza), Salvo Vitale (Caronte), Vincenzo Di Donato (Apollo), Francesca Cassinari (Ninfa)

La Venexiana, Claudio Cavina

As part of their comprehensive survey of the music of Claudio Monteverdi, Claudio Cavina and La Venexiana delivered an exceptional version of 'L’Orfeo', a reading which had been honed by their trailblazing interpretations of the composer’s madrigals.

This highly-esteemed recording of the favola in musica – critics applauded and fêted it in many different countries – subsequently dropped out of the catalogue and Glossa is very pleased to have the opportunity to return it there as part of this year’s 450th anniversary commemorations of the composer’s birth.

The seductive power of Claudio Cavina’s interpretation lay, in part, in his choice of orchestral colours but also in his shaping of the mythical story of the shared love of Orfeo and Euridice; the latter’s death and descent into the Underworld; and the former’s efforts to rescue from there. Into that reading Mirko Guadagnini excelled with nobleness in the title role, and Emanuela Galli brought sensuality to that of Euridice (and fervour to her Musica), whilst other key roles were taken by Salvo Vitale, Marina De Liso and Josè Maria Lo Monaco. In keeping with his habits of the time Claudio Cavina also found a small part for he himself to sing: the third Shepherd in this case – a reminder not just of his own talents and legacy on record as a singer but of La Venexiana’s tight-knit ensemble approach also.

Claudio Cavina’s 'L’Orfeo' has lost nothing of its grandeur in the passing of the years and is recommendable today as when it was first issued in 2006.

Building a Library

First Choice - May 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Summer Opera Sale

Glossa - GCD920941

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $22.75

Special: $18.20

This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched.

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo


Montserrat Figueras (La Musica), Furio Zanasi (Orfeo), Arianna Savall (Euridice), Sara Mingardo (Messaggiera), Cécile van de Sant (Speranza), Antonio Abete (Caronte), Adriana Fernández (Proserpina), Daniele Carnovich (Plutone), Fulvio Bettini (Apollo), Mercedes Hernández (Ninfa), Marília Vargas (Ninfa), Gerd Türk (Pastore & Eco), Francesc Garrigosa (Pastore & Spirito), Carlos Mena (Pastore) & Iván García (Pastore & Spirito)

La Capella Reial de Catalunya & Le Concert des Nations, Jordi Savall

This live recording made on January 31st, 2002 at the Liceu Theatre in Barcelona is already a cornerstone of any Monteverdi discography. It has been released on DVD by Opus Arte (but is now unavailable in most countries and reaches pretty high scores on the market place...), with a slightly different editing. This new and original multichannel mastering reveals the full scale of the inspiration of Jordi Savall and his ensembles, as well as the soloists, who include the late Montserrat Figueras, Furio Zanasi and Sara Mingardo.

“Savall’s performance is bold and full-bodied, especially in the warm choral singing and orchestral playing. The soloists are more variable, often placed far back in the sonic picture...the finest singing is from Sara Mingardo as a plangent Messenger.” The Observer, 14th June 2015 ***

“The singing and playing is of a very high standard.” Early Music Review, 1st July 2015

“Savall's ideas may not satisfy everyone, but there's never a hint of formulaic complacency, and this live performance is an engaging alternative view to experience alongside the best studio versions.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2015

“This is an opulent L’Orfeo rich in drama and contrast; the complete musico-dramatic article, utterly engrossing. Savall achieves a nigh-pefect balance between ravishing resonance and sound on the one hand, and gripping, pacey narrative on the other … a sumptuous production that must have been the ticket of the year.” Early Music Today, March/May 2016

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Summer Opera Sale

Alia Vox - AVSA9911

(SACD - 2 discs)

Normally: $28.75

Special: $23.00

(also available to download from $20.00)

This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched. (Available now to download.)

Monteverdi: L’Orfeo

Monteverdi: L’Orfeo


Monteverdi:

L'Orfeo

German version by Carl Orff (1895-1982)

Lamento d'Arianna 'Lasciatemi morire'

Bonus


Raymond Wolansky, Ingeborg Bremert, Lucretia West, Ernst Wiemann, Otto Arneth

Südfunkchor Stuttgart, Radiosinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Ferdinand Leitner

Claudio Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo first Performed in 1607 was composed by one of the most respected musicians in Northern Italy and is thought to be the first full opera ever performed. This piece combined the musical interludes with the drama itself creating an exciting new Genre with new possibilities for composers across the globe.

Summer Opera Sale

Profil Medien - PH13029

(CD)

Normally: $15.00

Special: $12.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo


John Mark Ainsley, Brigitte Balleys, Michael Chance, David Cordier, Mario Luperi, Russell Smythe

Tragicomedia and Concerto Palatino, Stephen Stubbs (conductor) & Pierre Audi (director)

Running time: 140 minutes / Subtitles: EN/FR/DE/ES/IT/NL

“Simply the most compelling account of L'Orfeo yet produced...John Mark Ainsley is simply superb as Orfeo…” BBC Music Magazine

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Up to 70% off Opus Arte

Opus Arte - The Essential Opera Collection - OAMO6007D

(DVD Video - 2 discs)

Normally: $16.75

Special: $11.72

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

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