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CHAN 3103M
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Opera In English Logo
CHAN 3103
(multiple CD Set)
Opera - Idomeneo

Mozart: Idomeneo

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2004


Opera North Orchestra

David Parry

Clive Bayley

bass - Voice of Neptune

Diana Montague

mezzo-soprano - Idamante

Susan Patterson

soprano - Electra

Rebecca Evans

soprano - Ilia

Ryland Davies

tenor - Arbace

Nicolai Gedda

tenor - High Priest of Neptune

Bruce Ford

tenor - Idomeneo

Opera North Chorus


Leeds Town Hall


Brian Couzens


Ralph Couzens

Michael Common


Record Label
Opera In English


Vocal & Song

Opera in English

Total Time - 148:59
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Opera - Idomeneo



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Idomeneo, King of Crete

  Dramma per musica in three acts  
  Libretto by Giovanni Battista Varesco after Antoine Danchet's Idomenée  
1 Overture 4:33
  Act I  
2 'When will the gods release me' 3:59
3 'Father, my brothers, forgive me!' 3:31
4 'Ah! He is coming' 2:34
  Ilia, Idamante  
5 'I am guiltless and yet you blame me' 5:42
6 'Here are the few wretched Trojan victims' 0:45
  Ilia, Idamante  
7 'The war is over' 2:23
8 'Prince, my lord, you insult the Greek nation' 2:34
  Electra, Idamante, Arbace, Ilia  
9 'The King dies. . . and I am friendless!' 1:51
10 'I feel you writhe inside me' 3:18
11 'Relent! Heaven, relent!' 1:05
12 Pantomime 3:18
  'We have been saved at last'  
13 'The ghost of my victim' 3:58
14 'This lonely shore' 4:37
  Idamante, Idomeneo  
15 'The father I love dearly' 2:49
16 March - 4:12
  'May Neptune be honoured'  
  Act II  
17 'We are alone; listen, Arbace' 3:58
  Idomeneo, Arbace, Ilia  
18 'My father was taken' 5:31
19 'How should I interpret words so ambiguous and disturbing?' 2:10
20 'Saved from storms, the storm within me rages' 6:02
21 'What pleasure could be deeper than mine is?' 1:29
22 'Dearest creature, that I know you love another cannot hurt me' 6:09
23 'You shores of Crete' 0:51
24 'Calmly the sea is calling' 4:02
  Chorus, Electra  
25 'You must set sail, Prince' 0:31
  Idomeneo, Idamante  
26 'If I must leave, I beg you' 3:43
  Idamante, Electra, Idomeneo  
27 'The storm winds are howling' 1:31
28 'I am the one, merciless Neptune, the culprit' 1:50
29 'Disaster! Run faster to flee such a horror!' 1:28
  Act III  
30 'Here, alone but not lonely' 0:56
31 'Heav'nly breezes, soft and gentle' 5:44
32 'Noble princess, if I dare to seek you out again' 3:25
33 'At the moment such words were uttered' 2:53
  Idamante, Ilia  
34 '(What do I see here?)' 2:00
  Idomeneo, Ilia, Idamante, Electra  
35 'Alone the earth I wander' 5:28
  Idamante, Ilia, Idomeneo, Electra  
36 'Most unfortunate land!' 3:22
37 'Raise your eyes for a moment, your highness' 4:31
  High Priest, Idomeneo  
38 'Oh, oh vow past redemption' 4:47
  Chorus, High Priest  
39 March 1:27
40 'Oh mighty ocean god, we beg you hear us' 3:07
  Idomeneo, Chorus  
41 'Highness, our hero, the prince Idamante' 1:13
  Arbace, Idomeneo  
42 'Father, my dearest father. . .' 5:47
  Idamante, Idomeneo, Ilia, High Priest  
43 'Your love has triumphed: Idomeneo shall rule no more' 2:32
  Voice of Neptune  
44 'The gods show mercy!' 1:11
  Idomeneo, Idamante, Ilia, Arbace, Electra  
45 'The woes of my brother invade and destroy me' 3:08
46 'Cretans: this shall be the last decree Idomeneo will pronounce' 5:41
47 'Bless their love, bless their devotion' 1:23
 Bruce Ford tenor - Idomeneo
 Diana Montague mezzo-soprano - Idamante
 Rebecca Evans soprano - Ilia
 Susan Patterson soprano - Electra
 Ryland Davies tenor - Arbace
 Nicolai Gedda tenor - High Priest of Neptune
 Clive Bayley bass - Voice of Neptune
 David Parry
  23-27 June 2003  
This recording of Idomeneo, with an English language libretto by David Parry, features some of today’s finest singers.

Bruce Ford will be appearing in Idomeneo at De Vlaamse Opera from February to April 2004 and at Il Maggio Musicale Fiorentino from April to June 2004. Rebecca Evans is appearing in Idomeneo with De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam, from early March 2004. Diana Montague will be performing in The Marriage of Figaro in Strasbourg early in 2004.

David Parry’s conducting has been consistently praised throughout this series, as much for its dramatic pacing as for its elegance and style.

There are comparatively few recordings of this great opera, and this one has the advantage of being available on two CDs, and at mid-price.

King Idomeneus (Idomeneo), is overtaken by a storm as he returns to Crete from the Trojan Wars, and promises that if he is granted safe passage home, he will sacrifice to Poseidon the first living thing on dry land he sees. On the shore he meets Idamante, his own son. Horrified, the king instructs him to flee to Argos with Electra (Agamemnon’s daughter). Electra is in love with Idamante and readily agrees, although Idamante is secretly in love with Ilia, the daughter of King Priam, a prisoner on Crete. Poseidon sends a sea monster to Idomeneo to remind him of his vow, but Idamante slays the monster. Ilia offers to sacrifice herself in Idamante’s stead and Poseidon relents.

The writing of Idomeneo was hampered by a number of difficulties – the poorly constructed libretto, the need to compose for a castrato, and the sixty-seven-year-old tenor in the title role who insisted that his arias be completely rewritten. There is much that is old-fashioned in the opera – arias are strictly segregated by passages of recitative and there are a number of coloratura arias which invite the singer to improvise, making the work one of Mozart’s few surviving operas conceived for celebrities who were out to impress.

Yet the opera is remarkable for its orchestral and choral writing and some passages, such as the storm in Act II and the Oracle scene, are of a richness unsurpassed by his later operas. Idomeneo was for many years overshadowed by Mozart’s glorious comedies but is today thought by many to be the greatest opera seria ever written.

Rebecca Evanss Ilia is all one expects from this lovely soprano, the voice pure, intonation secure and musicianship impeccable.
The Sunday Telegraph

Elements of a 2003 Opera North production linger in this recording, to its advantage. Clive Bayley is an imposing Voice of Neptune, Ryland Davies a masterly Arbrace, and the companys orchestra and chorus are both strong.
BBC Music Magazine

Its a coup for Chandos to have secured the great Nicolai Gedda as the high priest. Hes 78 this year, but stills sounds authoritative' and Bruce Fords Idomeneo is probably the best around today in any language. His English diction is immaculate.
Sunday Times

This is a notable addition to Chandos Opera in English series.
The Sunday Telegraph

This latest issue in Chandos Opera in English series boasts an extraordinary Idomeneo in Bruce Ford. The American tenor performs with unfailing musical scrupulousness, vocal flexibility and crystaline textural projection.
International Record Review

The performance, though, is, by and large, excellent, with the confrontation between Bruce Fords Idomeneo and Diana Montagues Idamente generating tremendous power, and Susan Pattersons Elettra declining into insanity with frightening vividness.
The Guardian

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