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Home » Composers » German Composers » GF Handel » Handel Operas » Giulio Cesare

Giulio Cesare in Egitto

By George Frideric Handel (Georg Friedrich Händel)


Click here for movement-by-movement comparisons of the Jacobs, Malgoire and Minkowski recordings.

Handel. Giulio Cesare in Egitto. (HWV 17, London 1724). Naïve (3 CDs, November 2012). Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco. Giulio Cesare: Marie-Nicole Lemieux, mezzo-soprano; Cleopatra: Karina Gauvin, soprano; Sesto: Julia Leznheva, mezzo-soprano; Cornelia: Romina Basso, mezzo-soprano; Tolomeo: Mary Ellen Nesi, mezzo-soprano; Achilla: Johannes Meisser, baritone; Curio: Gianluca Buratto, bass; Nireno: Milena Storti, mezzo-soprano. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Cleopatra - Arias from Giulio Cesare. Virgin 50999 907872 5 (1 CD, January 2011). Details. Emmanuelle Haïm, Le Concert d'Astrée. Natalie Dessay, soprano; Sonia Prina, contralto; Stephen Wallace, countertenor. Includes the first recording to my knowledge of the lovely siciliana "Troppo crudeli siete" (audio), which Handel replaced with "Piangerò la sorte mia" before the first performance. He reworked the aria into "Se non mi vuol amar" in Tamerlano. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Giulio Cesare in Egitto. (HWV 17, London 1724). MDG 609 1604-2 (3 CDs, January 2010). Details. George Petrou, Orchestra of Patras. Giulio Cesare: Kristina Hammarström, mezzo-soprano; Cleopatra: Emanuela Galli, soprano; Sesto: Mary-Ellen Nesi, mezzo-soprano; Cornelia: Irini Karagianni, mezzo-soprano; Tolomeo: Romina Basso, mezzo-soprano; Achilla: Tassis Christoyannis, baritone; Curio: Petros Magoulas, bass; Nireno: Nikos Spanatis, countertenor. This is a fine recording that overall probably is the best Giulio Cesare to date. I was most impressed by the performances of the "second" woman and man parts of Sesto and Tolomeo respectively, written for two acclaimed singers, Durastanti and Berenstadt, who frequently had starring roles in opera but in the lavishly financed Royal Academy of Musick were outclassed by Cuzzoni and Senesino. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Giulio Cesare in Egitto. (HWV 17, London 1724). Pro Musica Camerata PMC 062/064 (3 CDs, January 2009). Details. Władysław Kłosiewicz, Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense, Choir of the Warsaw Chamber Opera. Giulio Cesare: Anna Radziejewska, mezzo-soprano; Cornelia: Dorota Lachowicz, contralto; Sesto: Jacek Laszczkowski, sopranist; Cleopatra: Olga Pasiecznik, soprano; Tolomeo: Jan Monowid, countertenor; Achilla: Jarosław Bręk, bass; Nireno: Karol Bartosinski, countertenor; Curio: Sławomir Jurczak, bass. I haven't heard this one.
Handel. Giulio Cesare in Egitto. (HWV 17, London 1724). Carus (?) (3 CDs, forthcoming). Nicholas McGegan, Göttingen Festpiel Orchester, Opernkammerchor Hannover. Giulio Cesare: Kai Wessel, countertenor; Cleopatra: Sophie Daneman, soprano; Cornelia: Cecile van de Sant, contralto; Sesto: Diana Moore, soprano; Tolomeo: José Lemos, countertenor; Achilla: Konstantin Wolff, bass; Curio: Thomas Bonni, baritone; Nireno: Yosemeh Adjei, countertenor.
Handel. Giulio Cesare in Egitto. (HWV 17, London 1724). Harmonia Mundi HMC 901385/87(4 CDs 1991). René Jacobs, Concerto Köln. Giulio Cesare: Jennifer Larmore, contralto; Cleopatra: Barbara Schlick, soprano; Cornelia: Bernarda Fink, contralto; Sesto: Marianne Rørholm, soprano; Tolomeo: Derek Lee Ragin, countertenor; Achilla: Furio Zanasi, bass; Curio: Olivier Lallouette, baritone; Nireno: Dominique Visse, countertenor. Includes an aria added for Nireno in 1725. Total time: 243'21. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued as HMX2901385/87 (2003): US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Handel. Giulio Cesare in Egitto. (HWV 17, London 1724). Astrée E 8558 (3 CDs, 1995). Jean-Claude Malgoire. La Grand Écurie & La Chambre du Roy. Giulio Cesare: James Bowman, countertenor; Cleopatra: Lynne Dawson, soprano; Cornelia: Guillemette Laurens, contralto; Sesto: Eirian James, soprano; Tolomeo: Dominique Visse, countertenor; Achilla & Curio: Nicolas Rivenq, bass; Nireno: Jean-Louis Comoretto, countertenor. Total time: 220'39. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Giulio Cesare in Egitto. (HWV 17, London 1724). DG-Archiv 474 210-2 (3 CDs, June 2003). Review by Carlo Vitali. Marc Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre. Cesare: Marijana Mijanović, contralto; Cleopatra: Magdalena Kožená, soprano; Sesto: Anne Sofie Von Otter, mezzo-soprano; Cornelia: Charlotte Hellekant, contralto; Tolomeo: Bejun Mehta, countertenor; Achilla: Alan Ewing, bass; Nireno: Pascal Bertin, countertenor; Curio: Jean-Michael Ankaoua, bass. My initial reaction was quite negative, based largely on the extravagant, inauthentic ornamentation and cadenzas, speeds often too fast for the singers, distortion in the Cleopatra's frequent, unpleasant fff shrieks, and a weak and wobbly Cornelia, but it seems unfair to judge the recording in a vacuum. Upon detailed comparison with the other available and likewise flawed recordings, it holds its own. Indeed, despite her apparent ignorance of baroque performance practice and the Italian language, Mijanović clearly has the most interesting voice of the Cesares on the three recordings. I would still buy the Jacobs and Malgoire recordings before this one. Tiny, unreadable print in the booklet, but the English version is Lionel Salter's 1970 translation which appeared with the Richter LP set. Total time: 219'15. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Related Operas

Antonio Sartorio (1630-1680). Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Venice 1676). ORF CD 409 (3 CDs + CD-ROM, January 2006). Details. Attilio Cremonesi, La Cetra. Giulio Cesare: Alexandrina Pendatschanska, soprano; Cleopatra: Laura Alonso, soprano; Tolomeo: Dominique Visse, countertenor: Curio: Andries Cloete, tenor; Achilla: Federico Sacchi, bass; Sesto Pompeo: Amel Brahim-Djelloul, soprano; Nireno: Maria Cristina Kiehr, soprano; Cornelia: Claire Brua, mezzo-soprano; Rodisbe: Steven Cole, tenor. From the Innsbrucker Festwochen 2004. The libretto by G.F. Bussani was adapted for Handel by Haym. Italian/English and Italian/German libretti are on a fourth CD set up with the old multi-session CD standard, which some computers are unable to recognize. If you only see audio files in Windows Explorer (as I did), you can open and extract the pdf files with the free version of IsoBuster. UK | DE | FR


Winton Dean & J. Merrill Knapp. Handel's Operas, 1704-1726. (Oxford University Press 1995 (1987)).

R. Strohm, "Handel and his Italian opera texts." Essays on Handel and the Italian Opera. (Oxford University Press 1985).


Le magazine de l'opera-baroque page on Giulio Cesare in Egitto

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