December 14, 2015
NEW YORK, NY – December 8, 2015 – Boston Baroque is now five-time GRAMMY-nominated, thanks to the two nods received for the ensemble’s recording of Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, a new performance version created by Boston Baroque’s founder and Music Director Martin Pearlman and released on on LINN Records. The nominations include: Best Opera Recording – Martin Pearlman, conductor; Fernando Guimaraes & Jennifer Rivera; Thomas C. Moore, producer and Best Engineered Album, Classical – Robert Friedrich, engineer; Michael Bishop, mastering engineer (Martin Pearlman, Jennifer Rivera, Fernando Guimarães & Boston Baroque). Boston Baroque, the first permanent Baroque orchestra ever established in North America, is widely regarded as “one of the world’s premier period-instrument bands” (Fanfare). The ensemble produces lively, emotionally charged, groundbreaking performances of Baroque and Classical works—performed on instruments and using performance techniques that reflect the eras in which the music was composed. Previous GRAMMY nominated Boston Baroque recordings include Handel’s Messiah (Telarc) – 1992, Monteverdi’s Vespers (Telarc) – 1999, and Bach’s Mass in B Minor (Telarc) – 2000.
May 12th, 2015 marked the North American release of Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria released on Linn Records, which in addition to its two GRAMMY nods has received significant critical praise:
- “This performance is technically solid with some fine playing from the orchestra.” – The Guardian
- “The recording is both excellent in its own right and new.” – Brooklyn Rail
- “The production as a whole treats the work almost like a brand new opera. It renews appreciation… with a fine dramatic instinct that puts some of today’s literary adaptations to shame.” – Opera News
- “Pearlman provides modern audiences with a unique view of early music. As no art is developed in a vacuum, the vast influence of Monteverdi on all that came after is amply illustrated on this fine recording.” – All About Jazz
ABOUT THE RECORDING
Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria – Monteverdi’s setting of Ulysses’ return from the Trojan War from Homer’s Odyssey – is unquestionably one of the three pillars that place Monteverdi among the greatest of opera composers. But after its 1640 premiere, Ulisse dropped from view until late in the nineteenth century, when a manuscript was rediscovered in Vienna. Boston Baroque’s new performing version is a highly considered approach to all aspects of the score and performance, ensuring this version is true to Monteverdi’s original vision. “This work has always held a special place for me,” states Music Director Martin Pearlman, “both for the subject matter, pulled from a great literary masterpiece, and for its great music. The surviving material, however, includes only one manuscript, and a hastily and sometimes carelessly written copyist’s score most likely written after Monteverdi’s death. The lack of details, pose challenges for a performance that therefore requires many decisions to fill in the gaps in the manuscript. For Boston Baroque’s production, every note and word of the surviving manuscript were checked, a process that led to countless small adjustments plus a few major ones, to what is found in modern editions, and a variety of interpretative decisions were made.
The Boston Baroque recording of this riveting human drama comes to life through an enviable cast, led by Portuguese tenor and baroque specialist Fernando Guimarães in the title role, alongside the internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera as his loving wife Penelope.
To further illuminate the score, a thirty-minute “Director’s Cut” of conductor Martin Pearlman’s highlights from the opera can be heard here:
Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in patria
MARTIN PEARLMAN, Conductor
Opera in a prologue and three acts in a new performing version by Martin Pearlman
Music by Claudio Monteverdi/Libretto by Giacomo Badoaro (1602–1654)
Complete information on this recording can be found here:
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Journalists and Program Directors: To audition and download the recording for review or radio airplay, please visit here:
Rebecca Davis Public Relations