I think it’s going to be Monteverdi this weekend. I have two DVDs of L’incoronazione di Poppea, one from the Schwetzinger Festival in 1993 and another much more recent. And more generally I have almost, almost cleared the backlog of “stuff I have bought but not listend to yet”!
And then I stumbled across this recording of an obscure 18th-century oratorio, Gioas, rè de Giuda i.e “Joash, king of Judea” which might be worth hearing because it has both Kammerloher and Quasthoff in it. And the cover art, a van Dyck portrait of Mary Stuart – not that one, a different one – and the future William II of Orange – not the Glorious Revolution guy, but his dad – is also an interesting puzzle, unless the work is actually about the dynastic politics of the seventeenth century. (If it is, I’m buying it right now.)
On the other hand, internet reviews of this recording inform me that while the performances are pretty good, the music itself is kind of boring. The composer, Antonio Casimir Cartellieri, is said to have occasionally produced a interesting melodic idea, which doesn’t exactly sound what I would call promising. But who knows, right?