Vivaldi: Pietà

Vivaldi: Pietà

by Philippe Jaroussky


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Vivaldi: Pietà

French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, whose honey-sweet voice perhaps remains the best introduction to the countertenor voice for the skeptical, attempts something new with the collection of gorgeous and generally underrated Vivaldi works. It might, therefore, not be perfectly appropriate as an introduction to Jaroussky, but it's a daring and altogether engrossing project. The collection is accurately billed as a group of sacred works for alto, which makes it a surprising attempt for Jaroussky: his voice corresponds most closely to a mezzo-soprano range, and he has in the past taken on full-scale operatic arias where his voice blooms into a colorful and attractive top. Here he deliberately forbids himself that part of his vocal repertoire, even in faster, more athletic pieces that would seem to permit it. Everything is kept at a very low temperature. It's a risky course, but several things come together to make it work, and work in a big way. One is the presence of Jaroussky's handpicked Ensemble Artaserse, which responds to the subtlety of his approach with a sensitivity that would be worth the price of admission in itself. The program, with Vivaldi's "Stabat Mater, RV 621" (so often subordinated to Pergolesi's swan song, but full of beauties of its own), is very carefully chosen. Beyond that is simply the fact that Jaroussky's voice is equally beautiful in its lower ranges. And finally, is the program's unity of conception. Beginning with moderate speed and tempo at one extreme, it goes down to slow, quiet, and absolutely hypnotic at the other, and the overall effect for the listener is one of walking into a mysterious, quiet cloister where beautiful works of art and music emerge from the shadows. Just a sample will be enough to let the music begin to weave its spell. In the hands of a lesser singer this could have been a disaster, but that's what makes Jaroussky a great artist.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/28/2014
Label: Erato
UPC: 0825646258109
catalogNumber: 625810
Rank: 56755


  1. Salve Regina, antiphon for voice, double chorus, 2 oboes, double strings & continuo in G minor, RV 618
  2. Longe mala, umbrae, terrores, introduzione to Gloria for voice, strings & continuo in G minor, RV 629
  3. Gloria, for 3 solo voices, chorus, trumpet, oboe, violin (ad lib), 2 violas, 2 cellos, strings & continuo in D major, RV 589: Domine Deus
  4. Concerto for strings & continuo in C minor, RV 120
  5. Filiae Mestae Jerusalem, solo motet for voice, strings & continuo in C minor, RV 638
  6. Stabat Mater, hymn for voice, strings & continuo in F minor, RV 621
  7. Clarae stellae, scintillate, solo motet for voice, strings & continuo in F major, RV 625

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