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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavenly Handel singing by Sandrine Piau and Sara Mingardo, 12 April 2009
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WHM (Amsterdam) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Handel - Opera Duets and Arias (Audio CD)
I have only utter praise for this superb recording of Handel arias and duets by Sandrine Piau and Sara Mignardo, accompanied by Alessandrini's Concerto Italiano. Handel opera fans are well acquainted with the divine French soprano Sandrine Piau, based on her marvelous "disc of the year"-quality performance of Handel arias a few years ago (Handel Arias/Piau) and her Cleopatra performance in Giulio Cesare. Piau's radiant soprano voice and seemingly effortless singing are just stunning. Sara Mingardo is one of today's rare true contraltos, whose low register is well suited to the many roles Handel wrote for castratos.

The arias and duets are carefully selected gems from ten different Handel operas. As conductor Alessandrini explains: "We were careful to avoid the best-known arias and to maintain contrast from one number to another. And we kept the recitatives, so as to place the characters in the dramatic context of the opera and set the dominant mood of each aria".

The result is magnificent. Six moving duets, six solo arias (the ones by Piau are the highlights), all of them preceded by short recitativos, and two vibrant ouvertures for orchestra alone make for a extraordinary CD. The Concerto Italiano's playing is every bit as exciting as Piau's and Mingardo's singing. Don't miss this CD!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning, 12 Jun 2009
This review is from: Handel - Opera Duets and Arias (Audio CD)
this isnt fireworks from handel - more profound deep rich superb singing as these two voices dance and blend with each other...i cant recomend it enough
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Heandeling, 13 Aug 2009
This review is from: Handel - Opera Duets and Arias (Audio CD)
I do not hesitate to say that Sandrine Piau is, to paraphrase the famous beer commercial, probably the best soprano in the world. But when it comes to Haendel, the "probably" qualifier is as inappropriate as a Caarlsberg served in a room temperature. And don't even start me with Sarah Mingardo, as I have been a fan of hers from the very first Vivaldi recordings with Naive, followed by two tremendous recitals of hers for the same label. So you can say I came into possession of this new recording heavily prejudiced towards being, well, at least awe-stricken.
I am much more than that. I started listening to it in the car and the first aria drove me to stop and turn the engine off. Those who remember 'Amor e Gelosia' with Patrizia Ciofi and Joyce di Donato appreciate how difficult it is to put the recording of Haendel's duets matching a near perfection of that record. Pity, this record is not as consistent as 'Amor e Gelosia' in pairing Ms Piau and Mingardo throughout (for that, I take the star off). Whenever they sing together, though, the effect is such as if you were swallowed by a gigantic, psychosomatic goose bump.
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Handel - Opera Duets and Arias
Handel - Opera Duets and Arias by Sandrine Piau (Audio CD - 2009)
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