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Posted October 1, 2010
Back in early 1998, music director Nicholas McGegan had the foresight to select countertenor David Daniels to be his vocal soloist for this program; the second in a series of four discs devoted to the works of composer Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725). Scarlatti was quite prolific in his career writing over 60 operas, and selections from six of those operas are presented here. Although his music does not reach the musical heights of Handel, Scarlatti's work is certainly varied enough to provide the perfect showcase for Daniels' amazing voice. Accompanied by the Arcadian Academy, he is in full bloom here alternating between tender and passionate. As usual, his Italian is impeccable as he enunciates every word with great flair, and he never gets carried away with the more elaborate passages. Dramatically he is in peak form, and it is unlikely just a coincidence that like the accomplished "Masque of Alfred" cast recording a year later, this disc shares the talents of McGegan and several members of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. The most complete piece of this recording is the third, "Perché tacete, regolati concenti?", which seems like a mini-Venetian opera over its 19-minute running time. It contains the most musical diversity with instrumental passages that reflect effectively the different moods of the piece. The remaining pieces revolve around various quandaries about love, and the variety of tones and harmonic progessions is quite impressive. My personal favorite is "Il genio di Mitilde", which uses strings in an almost athletic fashion to reflect the various whims of a young woman's capricious changes of heart. The final piece, "Infirmata, vulnerata", opens with the melancholy Largo aria, where Daniels is accompanied beautifully by two interweaving violins, and finishes with the dramatically propulsive Allegro. This disc is a perfect addition to any Baroque music collection and a must-have for any fan of David Daniels.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.