Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques’ Salieri project is now well into its second decade. Most recently they’ve given us the blood and thrills of three of the composer’s French tragedies, but now it’s time to return to where it all started and the altogether lighter pleasures of Italian opera. Composed when Salieri was just 20, Armida is a full-length dramma per musica that stands strong on its own terms, but suffers by comparison to other, better-known treatments of the same legend. Both Lully and Handel give us more truly dramatic adaptations, but there’s plenty to enjoy here in this concise, colourful score.


After a brooding opening Sinfonia (hinting that, even in this idyllic garden, all is not entirely wholesome), the curtain...

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