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Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

by Various Artists
Monteverdi: L'Orfeo by Various Artists
Released: Nov 1987
Here is the best recording of the world's first great opera, conducted by Baroque specialist John Eliot Gardiner. Monteverdi's story of Orpheus in the underworld demands a dramatic major lead, and it finds one here with Anthony Rolfe-Johnson (his "Possente spirto" is truly divine). The soloists, choir and ensemble commit to the era, and the resulting bright, semi-improvisational feel of the recording is part of its immense charm.
Daphne Carr