Philippe Jaroussky, Ensemble Artaserse - Vivaldi "Pietà": sacred works for alto (2014)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 358 Mb | Total time: 78:30 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Erato | # 0825646257508 | Recorded: 2014
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 : 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.