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Home » Composers » German Composers » GF Handel » Handel Operas » Rodelinda

Rodelinda (1725)

By George Frideric Handel (Georg Friedrich Händel)


Handel. Rodelinda, Regina de'Longobardi. (HWV 19, London 1725). DG Archiv 00289 477 539-1 (3 CDs, May 2005). Review by Philippe Gelinaud. Alan Curtis, Il Complesso Barocco. Rodelinda: Simone Kermes, soprano; Bertarido: Marijana Mijanović, mezzo-soprano; Eduige: Sonia Prina, contralto; Unulfo: Marie-Nicole Lemieux, mezzo-soprano; Grimoaldo: Steve Davislim, tenor; Garibaldo: Vito Priante, bass. 2005 Best Baroque Italian Opera CD Award. Clearly the finest commercial Rodelinda recording to date. Includes the first recordings of two of Handel's five major changes for the second version -- a duet immediately before the final coro, and a completely different substitute aria for Unulfo to the same words ("Sono i colpi della sorte") near the end of Act I, neither of which is in the HG edition. The original version of Unulfo's aria is dramatic and familiar, but I agree with Alan Curtis that the less demanding replacement in C minor for Baldi is not musically inferior, as suggested by Dean & Knapp, and actually suits the situation better. The original version for Pacini is included in an appendix. Still unrecorded is the substitute aria for Rodelinda that is in the HG edition and bears a striking resemblance to "Se pietà". My only reservations are Screaming Simone's cadenzas up to a high sustained note. However, her singing otherwise is much more satisfying that that of most other sopranos known for similarly obnoxious cadenzas. There's not much else to criticize. The booklet includes an updated, complete version of the excellent translation for Decca. This is a nearly perfect studio recording. Imagine what the DG engineers might have done with Curnyn's Partenope. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Rodelinda, Regina de'Longobardi. (HWV 19, London 1725). dhm (deutsche harmonia mundi) RD 77192 (Europe) & 05472-77192-2 (US). (3 CDs 1991). Michael Schneider, La Stagione Frankfurt. Rodelinda: Barbara Schlick, soprano; Eduige: Claudia Schubert, contralto; Bertarido: David Cordier, countertenor; Unulfo: Kai Wessel, countertenor; Grimoaldo: Christoph Prégardien, tenor; Garibaldo: Gotthold Schwarz, bass. Good recording, but undermined by BMG's moronic bean counters. The booklet in the U.S. edition includes the English version from the original wordbook but not the Italian libretto. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Also reissued in the Handel Opera Collection. Sony dhm 88697489402 (22 CDs, April 2009). Details. This reissue includes the S. Kuijken recording of Alessandro, which has been out of print for many years. The best of the remaining opera recordings are Lotario (Curtis), Partenope (Kuijken) & Rodelinda (Schneider). Of these, only Schneider's Rodelinda has been superseded by a clearly superior recording. The others are of little or no interest: Malgoire's lackluster Rinaldo, Serse & Tamerlano and the comically incompetent old Rudel recording of Giulio Cesare. No librettos are included, nor are they available online. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Rodelinda, Regina de'Longobardi. (HWV 19, London 1725). Göttingen Handel Festival. (3 CDs 2000). Nicholas McGegan. Concerto Köln. Rodelinda: Dominique Labelle, soprano; Bertarido: Robin Blaze, countertenor; Grimoaldo: Iain Parton, tenor; Eduige: Ewa Wolak, contralto; Unulfo: Cécile van de Sant, contralto; Garibaldo: Andrew Foster-Williams, bass. I haven't heard this recording. Sold by the German Handel Society.
Handel. Rodelinda, Regina de'Longobardi. (HWV 19, London 1725). Virgin 7243 5 45277 2 2 (3 CDs 1998). Nicholas Kraemer, Raglan Baroque Players. Rodelinda: Sophie Daneman, soprano; Bertarido: Daniel Taylor, countertenor; Grimoaldo: Adrian Thompson, tenor; Eduige: Catherine Robbin, contralto; Unulfo: Robin Blaze, countertenor; Garibaldo: Christopher Purves, bass. Less complete than Schneider's recording. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Original Cast

Rodelinda: Francesca Cuzzoni, soprano; Bertarido: Senesino, alto castrato; Grimoaldo: Francesco Borosini, tenor; Eduige: Anna Dotti, contralto; Unulfo: Andrea Pacini, alto castrato; Garibaldo: Giuseppe Maria Boschi, bass.


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 Rodelinda

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