Cavalli: La Calisto
Raymond Leppard
Label
Decca
Catalogue No.
4829400
Barcode
00028948294008
Format
2-CD
About

Raymond Leppard’s second and more renowned contribution to the modern revival of Cavalli: a classic among Baroque opera recordings which won the coveted Rosette award from the Penguin Record Guide.

In 1651, seven years after ‘Ormindo’ (also reissued by Eloquence in Leppard’s recording, 482 9382), Cavalli and his librettist Faustini scored another hit with the hungry but demanding Venetian opera public with a tale from Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses. The change that all of Ovid’s central characters undergo, is in this case, suffered by the nymph Calisto who is rejected by the goddess Diana, turned into a bear by the Furies and back into a human by Jupiter who finally sets her among the stars in reward for her patience and her love.

Writing as editor of the Musical Times in the summer of 1970, Stanley Sadie observed that Raymond Leppard’s revival of ‘Calisto’ – probably its first performances since 1651 – had, like ‘Ormindo’ three years earlier, been ‘rapturously received’. Subsequent decades have furnished us with the more complete and unedited original opera for which Sadie hankered but they have not dimmed the passionate sweep of Leppard’s conducting. Nor has the singing of Janet Baker, James Bowman and Ileana Cotrubas in the central roles been eclipsed by their successors.

Decca’s top engineering team led by Kenneth Wilkinson was in charge of the Argo recording. As with ‘Ormindo’, they elected to record not in Glyndebourne’s main house but in the smaller and acoustically favourable organ room which was the site of the house’s first operatic performances. Much of the cast also reprised their appearances from the previous Cavalli album, notably the French tenor Hugues Cuenod whom Edward Greenfield observed to be a master of comic timing as well as vocal stamina during the four concentrated days of recording.

 

 

TRACK LISTING / ARTISTS

FRANCESCO CAVALLI
La Calisto

PROLOGO
La Natura –  Marjorie Biggar
L’Eternità – Enid Hartle
Il Destino – Teresa Cahill

LA FAVOLA
Giove – Ugo Trama
Mercurio – Peter Gottlieb
Calisto – Ileana Cotrubas
Endimione – James Bowman
Diana – Janet Baker
Linfea – Hugues Cuénod
Satirino – Janet Hughes
Pane – Federico Davià
Silvano – Owen Brannigan
Giunone – Teresa Kubiak
Eco – Isla Brodie

Glyndebourne Festival Opera Chorus
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Raymond Leppard

Track previews
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 2: Vivo per te, pietosa
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: Piacere maggiore havere non può
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: Improvvisi stupori
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: Va pur, va pur, va seco
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: Chi non ti crederebbe
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: Sien mortali o divini
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: Ma come scherna acerbetta
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: E'Calisto, d'arco armata
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: Del fuoco fulminato
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: Numi selvatici
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: Resta, oh adorata Dea
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: Ninfa bella, che mormora di marito
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: Interprete mal buona
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: Amara servitù
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 2: Calisto alle stelle
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 1: Ardo, sospiro e piango
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 2: Cor mio, che vuoi tu?
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 2: Sgorgate ancor sgorgate
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 2: Dalle gelose mie cure
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 2: Al fin la tanto rigida quella
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 2: Ascender qui ved'io
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 2: Lucidissima face
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 2: Che non l'ami volete?
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 2: Racconsolata e paga
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 2: Mi si fà gelo il sangue
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 2: Restino imbalasamate
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. - Act 2: D'aver un consorte io son risoluta
La Calisto - Realization by Raymond Leppard. / Prologo: Alme pure e volanti
Recording information

Recording Producer: Michael Bremner
Balance Engineers: Kenneth Wilkinson, Stanley Goodall
Recording Location: Glyndebourne Organ Room, Glyndebourne, UK, 10–13 August 1971
Cover Image: ‘Jupiter in the guise of Diana, and the nymph Calisto’ (1759, oil on canvas) by François Boucher (1703–1770)

Reviews

‘The stylish, sensitive and totally feminine portrayal of the nymph Calisto by Ileana Cotrubas is outstanding’ High Fidelity, August 1972

‘Janet Baker is on terrific vocal form … excellently engineered sound … the London Philharmonic play superbly well.’ Opera magazine, April 1972