This splendid reissue dates from the days of the baroque Renaissance in Vienna when Nikolaus Harnoncourt ruled the roost on the Teldec label resurrecting important compositions from this rather forgotten era in those days. "Il ritorno di Ulise in patria" is one of those works which lay gathering dust until this classic pioneering recording came out.
Harnoncourt certainly creates just the right atmosphere for this unique interpretation. He gathers a team of soloists which remains quite unsurpassed to this day and with the Concentus musicus on true top form, the music comes across in an uncannily fantastic way. An essential part of the whole set's experience is the reading of the notes which are written in Harnoncourt's inimitable style and which shed important light on the importance of this magnum opus in Monteverdi's canon.
Teldec's recording is superb and you really cannot tell that this was taped all of 40 years ago. For those who love this composer and who have not stumbled across this work, this is truly the only version to have. The presentation is also pretty snazzy with quite a unique box to boot. A winner through and through.
Copyright © 2008 by Gerald Fenech