on 24 January 2015
I was looking forward to this CD, having read the reviews, and heard snippets of the music, but sadly found this rather disappointing. Although his range is very good, there seemed to be something lacking on the emotional side, or perhaps with the phrasing ( I'm not technically knowledgeable enough to be able to pinpoint what is wrong) but every track sounded much the same as the last. The duets were the best part of the programme. Perhaps he is not quite ready for Mozart and Handel? In earlier music, especially that written for the castrato Caffarelli, his command of the music seems much more assured.
on 15 April 2011
It cannot be said that there is a shortage of Counter Tenors.Some are average,some are good, there are few that come into the sublime area,Franco Fagioli certainly does.
On this disc he sings Handel and Mozart.
He sings the Handel with a firm and steady technique,but with feeling and passion too,but without(as many singers tend to do) pulling Handels vocal line apart for their own benefit.
However,when we come to Mozart arias,Fagioli certainly rises into the vocal stratosphere.There are not many Counter Tenors who sing(either on complete recordings,or recital discs) Mozart arias,quite why this is I cannot say;I can only presume that their vocal equpment does not "lay" right for the music?
It certainly lays right for Franco, the icing on the cake is "Parto,Parto" from La Clemenza Di Tito,which I have never heard sung better(not even by some of the best mezzos,who usually sing the role).
I wonder if any record company will dare to issue a new recording of Tito with a counter tenor Sesto(or is there one already?),after all at the premiere in Prague on 6th Septemer 1791 the role was taken by the castrato Domenico Bedini,maybe a wonderful voice like Fagioli could let us see the part of Sesto in a new light?
If like me you have quite a few counter tenor recitals,then this can proudly take its place amongst them.If not this is certainly a good place to start.
He is by the way accompanied in one Handel and two Mozart arias,by the excellent Mezzo Soprano Alexandra Zabala.
Even more remarkably,reading the CD booklet,Fagioli was born in 1981 and recorded this in 2003,which means (unless my shaky maths are wrong)that he was only 22 at the time!
I look forward to hearing what his voice will develop into.