This week we have highlights from Vivaldi's Orlando Furioso, from a much praised recording featuring Veronica Cangemi and Jennifer Larmore, with Jean-Cristophe Spinosi conducting the chorus Les Elements and the Ensemble Matheus.
So why is Orlando furious, or crazed, which is a better translation from the Italian? Why does a distinguished knight chop down trees and attack statues in a frenzy? It has to do with jealousy - he is in love with a woman who, alas, does not love him. A witch up to no good bustling about does not help. But by the end of the opera, he is his normal self with no harm done except to the trees and the statue.
It’s the music that counts, and Vivaldi's is glorious in this lauded recording.