Vivaldi: Virtuoso Cantatas

Vivaldi: Virtuoso Cantatas

by Philippe Jaroussky Philippe Jaroussky
Vivaldi: Virtuoso Cantatas

Vivaldi: Virtuoso Cantatas

by Philippe Jaroussky Philippe Jaroussky


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Looks can be deceiving -- take for example Philippe Jaroussky. Attired in expensive, well-tailored shirts and looking off into the distance, young singer Jaroussky looks like he could be actor Mel Gibson's little brother (or, by this time, Gibson's son). Put his Virgin Classics album Vivaldi: Virtuoso Cantatas in the disc drive, and the uninitiated might be moved to ask, "This is lovely, but who is the lady singing?" It's not a lady -- it's Jaroussky, who is a male soprano. Although in some places one will find the term "countertenor" connected to Jaroussky's name, he really isn't that so much as a "male soprano," which may seem rather oxymoronic, but applies in his case. While Jaroussky might not be able to top Renée Fleming's top note, he has an awesomely impressive voice that he can send soaring to undreamed of heights (for a man), still keeping both in tune and in control. Beyond that, Jaroussky has marvelous flexibility with his instrument, which has properties of weight and stability that would be the envy of most female sopranos. That he has chosen neglected vocal music of composer Antonio Vivaldi as his maiden vehicle with Virgin Classics points up the tremendous confidence Jaroussky has in his own abilities. Vivaldi's vocal writing is some of the most difficult to be found in the Baroque, and even great sopranos like Cecilia Bartoli find it a hard slog. Likely Jaroussky does also, but he makes it sound effortless on Vivaldi: Virtuoso Cantatas. The Ensemble Artaserse is an expert group of period instrumentalists, and prove a splendid foil for the fireworks generated by Jaroussky. If one should decide to go for Vivaldi: Virtuoso Cantatas, don't miss the lyrics, which appear in four languages -- the overwrought and excessively sentimental texts to Vivaldi's cantatas and opera arias are in themselves quite entertaining. Chances are you'll like Vivaldi's alternatively slashing, genteel, and genuinely fervent music, as well, which Jaroussky and Ensemble Artaserse deliver with skill and aplomb on this dynamite recording.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/12/2005
Label: Erato
UPC: 0724354572128
catalogNumber: 45721
Rank: 134494


  1. Alla caccia dell'alme e de' cori, cantata for voice & continuo, RV 670
  2. Qual per ignoto calle, cantata for voice & continuo, RV 677
  3. Orlando (Orlando furioso II), opera in 3 acts, RV 728: Piangerò sinché l'onda
  4. Prelude after Vivaldi
  5. Care selve, amici prati, cantata for voice & continuo, RV 671
  6. Sonata for cello & continuo No. 1 in B flat major (Six Sonatas No. 1), Op. 14/1, RV 47
  7. Perfidissimo cor! Inquio fato, cantata for voice & continuo, RV 674
  8. Tito Manlio (II), opera in 3 acts (Act 3 only), RV 778: Di verde ulivo
  9. Pianti, sospiri e demandar mercede, cantata for voice & continuo, RV 676

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