Classical Opera Company "Artaxerxes" SACD (2 discs)
The Classical Opera Company, directed by Ian Page, give a wonderful performance of Thomas Arne's Artaxerxes and features the exciting vocal talents of several world-class young artists.
'Inspired singing.' The Guardian
'All credit to the Classical Opera Company for resurrecting a work brimming with delightful music.' Evening Standard
'I can't recommend this release too highly. It should be in the collection of every opera lover.' Audiophile Audition
Released to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Thomas Arne, the composer of Rule, Britannia!, The Classical Opera Company presents the first complete recording of Artaxerxes. The original scores for the opera were burned in a fire in Drury Lane Theatre – only the orchestral parts and the libretto, and some of the music survived. Noted musicologist Duncan Druce recreated the Finale and the company's director Ian Page the recitatives for this, the new performing edition, which was premiered at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 2009. The opera contains several well-known arias, including 'The soldier tir'd', made famous by the late Joan Sutherland.
The Classical Opera Company, which was founded by Ian Page in 1997, specializes in the music of Mozart and his contemporaries whilst performing with its own period-instrument orchestra. The Classical Opera Company has also established an outstanding track record for its work in discovering and developing world-class young artists. Listen to the soloists in Artaxerxes (Christopher Ainslie, Elizabeth Watts, Caitlin Hulcup, Andrew Staples, Rebecca Bottone and Daniel Norman) to hear why The Classical Opera Company is regarded as one of Britain's most exciting and highly regarded young arts organisations.
- Overture (Poco piu che andante Larghetto Gavotta)
- Recitative: Still silence reigns around
- No.1, Duettino: Fair Aurora, prithee stay
- Recitative: Alas, thou know'st that for my love to thee
- No.2, Air: Adieu, thou lovely youth
- Recitative: O cruel parting! How can I survive?
- No.3, Air: Amid a thousand racking woes
- Recitative: Be firm, my heart
- No.4, Air: Behold, on Lethe's dismal strand
- Recitative: Stay, Artaxerxes, stay
- No.5, Air: Fair Semira, lovely maid
- Recitative: I fear some dread disaster...
- No.6, Air: When real joy we miss
- Recitative: Ye Gods, protectors of the Persian Empire
- No.7, Air: How hard is the fate
- Recitative: Whither do I fly?
- No.8, Air: Thy father! Away, I renounce the soft claim
- Recitative: Ye cruel Gods, what crime have I committed
- No.9, Air: Acquit thee of this foul offence
- Recitative: Appearance, I must own, is strong against me
- No.10, Air: O too lovely, too unkind
- Accompanied recitative: Dear and beloved shade
- No.11, Air: Fly, soft ideas, fly
- Recitative: Guards, speed ye to the tower
- No.12, Air: In infancy, our hopes and fears
- Recitative: So far my great resolve succeeds
- No.13, Air: Disdainful you fly me
- Recitative: Why, my dear friend, so pensive, so inactive?
- No.14, Air: To sigh and complain
- Recitative: How many links to dire misfortune's chain
- No.15, Air: If o'er the cruel tyrant love
- Recitative: Which fatal evil shall I first oppose?
- No.16, Air: If the river's swelling waves
- Recitative: Ye solid pillars of the Persian Empire
- No.17, Air: By that belov'd embrace
- Recitative: Ah me, at poor Arbaces' parting
- No.18, Air: Monster, away
- Recitative: See, lov'd Semira
- Accompanied recitative: At last my soul has room
- No.19, Air: Thou, like the glorious sun
- No.20, Air: Why is death for ever late
- Recitative: Arbaces! Gracious Heav'n, what's this I see?
- No.21, Air: Water parted from the sea
- Recitative: That face, secure in conscious innocence
- No.22, Air: Though oft a cloud with envious shade
- Recitative: My son, Arbaces... where art thou retir'd?
- No.23, Air: O let the danger of a son
- Accompanied recitative: Ye adverse Gods!
- No.24, Air: O, much lov'd son, if death
- Recitative: Perhaps the King releas'd Arbaces
- No.25, Air: Let not rage, thy bosom firing
- Recitative: What have I done? Alas, I vainly thought
- No.26, Air: 'Tis not true that in our grief
- Recitative: Nor here my searching eyes can find Mandane
- No.27, Duetto: For thee I live, my dearest
- Recitative: To you, my people, much belov'd
- No.28, Air: The soldier, tir'd of war's alarms
- Recitative: Behold, my King, Arbaces at thy feet
28. No.29, Finale: Live to us, to Empire live