…“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
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.
Two voices of celestial beauty and expressive poignancy come together in this new recording of Pergolesi’s exquisite, but tragically charged Stabat Mater as Philippe Jaroussky is joined by the rising young soprano Julia Lezhneva…
This recording of Artaserse by Leonardo Vinci (1690-1730) – born in Naples and, during his short life, celebrated as one of Italy’s leading composers of opera – represents the fourth Virgin Classics collaboration between countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic and conductor Diego Fasolis. It follows an album of Handel arias, Handel’s opera Faramondo and, in 2011, Vivaldi’s opera Farnace – “The performance fairly crackles, with accomplished singing by the flamboyant countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic in the virtuoso title role,” said the Telegraph in the UK…(Forum Opéra, France.)
Based on concerts presented in Spain and France countertenors Philippe Jaroussky and Max Emanuel Cencic have joined with William Christie and the Les Arts Florissants to produce this CD of duets written for countertenors.
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)