OP0642. FLAVIO (Handel, recorded c.1990, w. René Jacobs Cond. Ensemble 415 - Chiara Banchini; Jeffrey Gall, Derek Lee Ragin, Bernarda Fink, Lena Lootens, etc. 2-Harmonia Mundi 901312/23, Slipcase Edition w.Elaborate 127pp. Libretto-brochure. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 3149025042217
“René Jacobs began his career as a countertenor and quickly earned the reputation as one of the finest of his time. But he gradually turned to conducting and since the turn of the new century has rarely sung in concert. As a countertenor Jacobs championed a string of forgotten Baroque composers on his recordings: Antonio Cesti, Sigismondo d'India, Luca Marenzio, Pierre Guédron, Michel Lambert, and others. But he also sang, in both concert and opera, many standards by Monteverdi, J.S. Bach, Handel, Telemann, and Mozart. As a conductor, he has led many performances of sacred music by J.S. Bach, Buxtehude, and others, and has focused heavily on the operas of Monteverdi, Handel, and Mozart. He has conducted purely orchestral music as well, notably symphonies by Haydn and Mozart.
René Jacobs took master classes with countertenor Alfred Deller. Already active on the concert stage, Jacobs made his operatic début in Amsterdam in 1974, singing Clerio in Francesco Cavalli's ERISMENA. In 1977 Jacobs founded Concerto Vocale, an ensemble he would appear with in many concerts, operatic productions and recordings.
By the 1980s Jacobs was steeped in conducting commitments, though he continued to sing, often in the same concerts. He was also editing performing editions of operas, as he famously did for the 1989 performance he led at the Opera de Montpellier of Monteverdi's L'INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA. In the 1990s Jacobs established his credentials as one of the finest conductors on record of Mozart's operas."
- Robert Cummings, allmusic.com
“Bernarda Fink had considerable local success in Argentina before beginning to achieve international attention as a mezzo-soprano in the late 1990s. She was born to a Slovenian family in Buenos Aires.
In 1985 she won the country's Nuevas Voces Liricas (New Lyrical Voices) Competition, leading to her moving to Europe where she began a notable concert career. She has appeared with the Vienna Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the French Radio Philharmonic, the French National Orchestra, the Orchestra of Suisse Romande, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the New Japan Philharmonic. She also sings with chamber and original instrument groups such as I Solisti Veneti, the English Baroque Soloists, Les Musiciens du Louvre, and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. She is also an active recital singer, including an appearance at the New York Festival of Song in Carnegie Hall.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com