Vivaldi: Ercole sul Termondonte

Erato | Track Listing

Antonio Vivaldi: Ercole sul Termodonte

Rolando Villazón, Joyce DiDonato, Diana Damrau, Philippe Jaroussky, Vivica Genaux, Patrizia Ciofi, Romina Basso, Topi Lehtipuu, Europa Galante, Fabio Biondi, Ltg.

Hercules reborn! Rolando Villazón and Joyce DiDonato lead a dazzling cast in Vivaldi’s opera Ercole sul’Termodonte, first heard in Rome in 1723 and reconstructed by conductor Fabio Biondi from the original libretto, historical scores and his intimate knowledge of the composer.

As Biondi explains: “This opera occupies a special and emblematic position in Vivaldi’s life. At the age of 45, he took the risk of presenting an opera in Rome for the first time … Ercole proved a resounding success … The city was full of talk about this opera which, by introducing a new musical style, seemed to revolutionise a genre much loved in the Eternal City. His melodic invention, his bel canto lyricism, rhythmic impulse and colourful instrumentation captured the imagination of music lovers.”

Biondi himself brought the score back to life, reconstructing it for performance in Venice in 2007, and subsequently in Paris in 2009. No autograph score or contemporary copy of the opera was in existence, but Biondi worked from the libretto printed for the first performances in Rome in 1723. He was then able to identify various arias from other Vivaldi scores kept in libraries around Europe, principally in France and Germany. In many cases, he also orchestrated the arias, extrapolating from their musical substance and his intimate knowledge of Vivaldi’s practice. Where no source existed for an aria or chorus, he reconstructed the music by adapting and borrowing from other works by Vivaldi. He also composed all the recitatives.

Album info

Release date: November 29, 2010
Number of Discs: 2
Format: Studio
Label: Erato