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Such is today’s cult of the countertenor that Philippe Jaroussky hogs the cover of his new CD, La Storia di Orfeo, despite sharing the vocal honours with soprano Emöke Baráth, who has to make do with a photograph in the booklet. It’s particularly unfair as her singing is gorgeous, with even and luscious tone, not a note out of place. Admittedly Jaroussky’s voice is also on top form, delicate but with a tensile strength. The two blend very well together, her touch of vibrato contrasting well with his whiter sound. The disc takes three composers’ interpretations of the Orfeo myth: Monteverdi (L’Orfeo, 1607), Rossi (Orfeo, 1647) and Sartorio (L’Orfeo, 1672), showing the development from declamatory recitar cantando (sung recitation) to cantar recitando, with its format of arioso and aria – in other words, a more modern operatic style. The recording is exemplary and conductor Diego Fasolis brings a warmth often missing from Baroque interpretations.

Francis Muzzu Read the full review on Agora Classica


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