The internationally acclaimed Polish contralto Ewa Podles’ makes her first appearance on Delos in this release of arias from Handel’s Rinaldo and Orlando with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra under Constantine Orbelian. A singer who has won wide renown for her sensational Handel and Rossini interpretations, Ms. Podles’ is also in great demand for operatic roles of later eras and appears extensively in recital and with orchestra. Delos subsequently released a Podles’ disc of Russian arias (DE 3298). The size and range of her voice plus her phenomenal technical facility have made Ms. Podles’ uniquely able to realize the full heroic dimensions of the great roles that Handel created for the leading castrato voices of his day. The title roles of Rinaldo (1711) and Orlando (1733) rank among the best known and most challenging of them.
Following a recent performance of Baroque arias, including arias from Rinaldo, the Chicago Sun-Times extolled Ms. Podles’ florid singing for giving “new meaning to the term vocal fireworks” and also praised her “passionate emotional involvement with the music at hand.” Ms. Podles’ has been heard at the Berlin Staatsoper, the Deutsche Opera Berlin, La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Opera Bastille, the Dallas Opera, La Fenice and many other opera companies in such diverse roles as Giulio Cesare, Tancredi, Ulrica, Erda, Dalila and Baba the Turk. With his appointment in 1991 as Music Director of the celebrated Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Constantine Orbelian became the first American ever to become music director of an ensemble in Russia. At the time of his appointment, he was already enjoying a brilliant career as a pianist. He is also Founder and Music Director of the annual Palaces of St. Petersburg International Music Festival, and in September 2000 he was named Permanent Guest Conductor of the Moscow Philharmonic.
Also participating in the new Handel arias recording is the distinguished American harpsichordist Jory Vinikour, who provides continuo support. A frequent collaborator with Marc Minkowski, Mr. Vinikour has performed widely as recitalist, concerto soloist and vocal accompanist. His recordings for Delos include the Bach Goldberg Variations (DE 3279), An In Concert Program (DE 3354), Handel Suites (DE 3394), and accompanying flutist Joshua Smith in an album of Bach flute sonatas (DE 3402). At Ms. Podles’ request, Mr. Vinikour conceived the ornamentation for many of the arias heard in the new recording. Recorded using Sony’s leading-edge DSD (Direct Stream Digital) technology.The recording was made at the Skywalker Studio in California.
Arias from Rinaldo: Venti turbini / Cara sposa / Abbruggio, avvampo e fremo / E un incendio fra due venti / Ogni indugio d’un amante / Or la tromba / Tale stupor m’occupa… / Cor ingrato / Il Tricerbero umiliato
Arias from Orlando: Fammi combattere / E questa la mercede / Cielo! Se tu il consenti / Imagini funeste… / Non fu gia men forte Alcide / Gia io stringo / Ah Stigie larve!… / Gia latra Cerbero… / Vaghe pupille