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Dip Your Ears, No. 51 (Virgin Radamisto)

available at Amazon
G.F.Handel, Radamisto,
A.Curtis / Il Complesso Barocco
Virgin Classics

You have to be thick into Handel to really care whether you are listening to the first 1720 version of Radamisto or the second 1720 version. But then you probably have to care lots about Handel to be likely to acquire either version and may thus appreciate Anthony Hicks’s detailed notes in the latest (and second) recording of this opera by Alan Curtis and his team who chose—unlike Nicholas McGegan in a currently unavailable Harmonia Mundi recording—the latter. (Don’t ask me which edition Horst-Tanu Margraf recorded for Berlin Classics… perhaps the third, 1727, version?)

Right now it’s the only Radamisto game in town, though, and if you want to hear arias like Quando mai, spietata sorte or Dolce bene di quest’alma, you might as well make a bee-line for the Virgin recording where Curtis’s Il Complesso Barocco again proves to be among the finest groups for Handel; this recording coming close on the heels of the previously reviewed Rodelinda from the same forces (with different singers). Radamisto may not be as adept as Rodelinda at keeping your continued interest, nor do the soloists Joyce DiDonato, Maite Beaumont, Zachary Stains, Laura Cherici, Patrizia Ciofi, and Carlo Lepore necessarily outdo Kermes, Davislim, Lemieux, and Mijanović—but the Handelians among us should lap this up with delight. Another wonderful proof from Virgin that high-quality opera recordings are still very much alive and coming at us in rapid succession.