For me, this is, hands down, best classical album of 2007. Not just because Jaroussky's voice has achieved a sort of perfection, doing whatever it is asked of it without any hint of effort and with great innate artistry; he has wonderful, very natural coloratura, incredible dynamic control, beautiful tone and sweet high notes that put other countertenors, Scholl included, and even many haute-contre tenors to shame. In the second track, Ciel Nemico, he does a sequence of interval leaps that sound out of this world; and that is just the second track! By Akimon Azuki
This recording was made back in 2003. It has taken Virgin Classics nearly 5 years to publish it.
The disc features music composed in the first half of the 17th century, mainly Italian music being introduced into France by Cardinal Mazarin. So much for the musical background. … (Hong Kong)
…“With the passage of time and the accumulation of experience, the psychological genius of Vivaldi grips us even more strongly than in the past. Today his music appears to us even obviously as a veritable scanner of the human soul, revealing to us with still greater intensity the incredibly timeless character of the protagonists and their problems. More than ever, Alcina, Angelica, and Orlando affirm in our eyes and hearts their stature as our contemporaries. Their strength and weaknesses, their sufferings and joys, seem so palpable that our empathy for them has never been so total. Never hast his masterpiece moves us so deeply.” Jean-Christophe Spinosi and Frederic Delamea
"…It would be hard to imagine a more compelling case for this material than that made by Jaroussky and Emmanuelle Haïm, who plays harpsichord and conducts Concerto Köln. They invest this music with such life and devote such exquisite attention to its nuances that the album fully deserves the attention of fans of the Baroque or Vivaldi, or of anyone who simply cherishes hearing terrifically talented and spirited performers giving their all to music they clearly love. The album is beautifully produced and has clean, vibrant, and natural sound, with excellent balance." ~allmusicguide
Agostino Steffani’s sumptuous 1688 opera Niobe, Regina di Tebe has proved a revelation to audiences since its first modern production in 2008. The spellbinding French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who appeared in its US premiere at the Boston Early Music Festival in 2011, stars in this new recording, with Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin in the title role of the proud, but tragic Theban queen.
Virtuos und expressiv, jubelnd, aber auch zu Tränen rührend: Die Stimme des französischen Countertenors Philippe Jaroussky ist so etwas wie der „Sound des Barock“ geworden. Auf den Spuren der großen Kastraten lässt er Opern, aber auch Sakralmusik wie-derauferstehen. Nach seinem Erfolgsalbum mit Porpora-Arien des Kastraten-Mythos Farinelli widmet er sich jetzt der Kirchenmusik von Vivaldi…