Lotario has never had a very good press. Handel’s first opera for the ‘Second Royal Academy’, after an initial run of 10 performances in 1729 it slipped into oblivion for more than two centuries. It wasn’t an ‘unmitigated flop’, as the curious note here says. There aren’t many stunning individual numbers, but there are several spirited and reflecrtive ones of great beauty – the closing number of Act 2, for example, for Lotario himself, encloses an expression of hope in a moment of despair which, with its rich fabric of string accompaniment, turns out to be truly moving in a manner unique to Handel. And Adelaide, the queen, sings her defiance vigorously in the brilliant aria that ends Act 1. There are some relatively bland arias, too, but there is plenty of character in the music assigned to the villainess of the piece, the usurping queen Matilde, whose scheming is ultimately overturned by her virtuous son Idelberto.
Lotario, HWV 26 Act I Aria Scherza in mar la navicella mentre ride aura seconda (Adelaide)
“Discovery – Arias with Mandolin Accompaniment: This is much more than the serenade offered to the beloved as incidental music. There are also very virtuoso copies, in which the Mandolin as an obligatory instrument is required of everything. Artemandoline has tied together a beautiful bouquet of such finds, supplemented by two mandolin concerts. And the formation lives up to its name: The strings and Nuria Rial perfectly complement the plucked instrument in its articulation. ”
Il Gioseffo Bramo un core che impari dal mio (Aria)
The Spanish soprano Nuria Rial and the American countertenor Lawrence Zazzo are both young stars of the booming Baroque music scene and reap the highest praise from the press in their frequent live performances. For their first CD with DHM they have recorded together with the outstanding Chamber Orchestra Basel under Laurence Cummings the most beautiful “Duetti Amorosi” from the operas of Handel and complemented by matching solo arias. The selected duets show Handel’s full mastery of expressing different musical emotions, from musical love and lip-service, through deception and marital disputes: from “Caro amico amplesso” (Poro) to “Troppo oltraggi la mia fede” ( Serse), “Ma come amar?” (Muzio Scevola), “Ritorna nel core vezzo” (Arminio) to “Addio; mio caro bene” from Teseo. In these beautiful duets and selected solo arias suitable for the duets, Rial and Zazzo show how musically sophisticated and appealing Handel created these duets and arias, congenially accompanied by the Basel Chamber Orchestra under the inspired direction of Cummings, as director of the London Handel Festspiele a Handel connoisseur.
Financial Times Germany (31.10.2008)
Rodelinda Ritorna, o caro e dolce mio tesoro (Aria)
Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, a masterful piece of bittersweet ambiguity, can be interpreted in a variety of styles and vocal permutations. Carlos Mena in excellent diction and in perfect vocal balance with the pure and tender voice of Núria Rial, offers us a gentle interpretation of a lot of musicality, although occasionally questionable fast speeds are taken as in “Quae moerebat”. A piece by Durante occupies the position between the ‘Stabat Mater’ and the ‘Salve Regina’, a plethoric piece of tonal richness and tenderness. Magnificent is also the presentation of this Mirare label product. Pyotr Petrovich
Stabat Mater Quando Corpus Morietur. Largo Assai
The immense musical treasures that were created to worship the Blessed Virgin Mary form their own spiritual sphere of sound. Especially from the Baroque period there is still much to discover. This is proven by Annegret Siedel with her ensemble Bell’Arte Salzburg in this collection: It consists almost completely of first recordings. Nuria Rial’s soprano gives the pious pieces the aura of the immediately touching.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei
Monteverdi may surprise in this interpretation perhaps by the amazing modernity and boldness of his compositions, which are so much more than ‘baroque’. On the other hand, from the excellent performers, the listener gets the expected excellent interpretation, precise, beautiful and really playing music together. In particular, the incredibly clear, sweet and heartfelt voices of Nuria Rial and the countertenor Philippe Jaroussky are to be emphasized here. However, this recording offers even more: a playful approach to the music Monteverdies, which arises from a deep knowledge of the compositions and a joy of playing together and improvising. So in some of the pieces, with astonishment and delight, some greetings from the twentieth century that Monteverdi could hear when he heard them probably would have amused. A very interesting, highly vivid recording and highly recommended.