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Posted October 1, 2010
Countertenor David Daniels has no problem showcasing his versatility, as he joins forces this time with the seven-man ensemble Europa Galante, led by violinist Fabio Biondi, to provide a wonderfully satisfying performance of these three works by Vivaldi. The disc has the intimate feel of a chamber music recital, and the result is nothing short of a revelation. It paints a broad landscape of moods and textures ranging from the deeply melancholy and religious "Stabat Mater" to the nearly operatic "Longe mala". With the "Stabat Mater", one can almost see the Virgin Mary sitting at the base of the cross. My personal favorite is "Nisi Dominus" which allows Daniels to show his dramatic flair in a heartfelt expression of emotions - vigorous awe, sorrow and joy. His uncanny combination of a rich coloratura and a warm, honey-toned timbre allows him to stand head and shoulders above his countertenor brethren. What Daniels does so well is make an otherwise unearthly sound completely natural, and his incredibly flexible legato never feels out of control. Simply compare the ending "Amen" and "Alleluia" arias of the three pieces to gain a full appreciation of what this astounding singer can do with just one word. To say that Europa Galante simply accompanies Daniels would be a complete understatement, as their instruments appear to be full-fledged partners to his vocals. The match works beautifully, especially the string section, which appears to match his vocal intensity note for note. The collaboration makes for a breathtaking recording and yet another impressive milestone in the career of David Daniels.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.