This Handelian diptych, the brainchild of the director Pierre Audi, was conceived in a style of great purity, right down to the costumes, the décors and the sumptuous chiaroscuro lighting. In order to replicate this aesthetic, reminiscent of Renaissance paintings, with the greatest possible fidelity, the performances, filmed in high resolution, are released on BLU RAY only. Christophe Rousset and his orchestra convey exceptional fervour in this music, here served by the finest Handelian voices imaginable, foremost among them Sandrine Piau, who enjoyed a genuine triumph in the stage production. Nor can one forget the dramatic performance of Jeremy Ovenden in Tamerlano, or the beauty of the voices of Ann Hallenberg, Sophie Karthäuser, Delphine Galou and the countertenor Christophe Dumaux.

With the audacity of its extremely tight plot, its small orchestra given the role of a dramatic mainspring, its innovative forms and structures, and above all the figure of Bajazet, the father, who hovers above the work like an implacable prophet of doom . . . Tamerlano may well be situated among the incontestable masterpieces of the “divine Saxon”. . . . In Alcina, Handel gives us one of his most dramatically accomplished scores, in which each character follows a wholly individual trajectory, and the different “stages” of love are delicately handled.

Christophe Rousset