Having seen David Hansen's appearances on You Tube, I looked forward to his debut CD and was not disappointed. Hansen is an extraordinary singer - a glorious voice with an astonishing technique that would have impressed Farinelli himself! I agree whole heartedly with the first reviewer in his comments about the choice of repertoire. Hansen obviously wants to make his mark in a musical world that is now teeming with countertenors. The time when James Bowman and Rene Jacobs held sway are long gone and Hansen is going to be, without doubt, amongst the stars along with Jarrousky, Cencic, Daniels and Mehta.
All the arias on this disc are showpieces, even the slow ones and Hansen sings them perfectly. Broschi's "Son qual nave" Hansen throws off with ease. It is interesting that this aria, in a much abbreviated form, appears in the feature movie "Farinelli" and the screen writer has the singer complaining to his brother that it is all "runs and ornaments". This can be said of everything on the disc, unfortunately. They have a rarity value (and I doubt is "Son qual nave" has ever been sung complete since the time of Farinelli) and for lovers of Baroque opera this CD is a must. What one longs for now is a CD with music from the real Masters of the period. Hansen's contemporaries have shown that Handel, for example, wrote extensively for virtuoso singers, providing them with music worthy of their musical and dramatic talents. I hope that David Hansen will provide us with music of real value in his next outing on disc. In the meantime, buy this one and enjoy the singing of this truly astonishing rising star. I must also mention the superb playing by the Academia Montis Regis under Alessandro de Marchi. The orchestral ritornelli are thrilling and in the quiet arias some exquisite solo oboe playing.