on 8 February 2013
Cencic clearly is improving with age - I have never heard him sing so beautifully and dramatically. His CD, with ravishing orchestration provided by the seventeen-strong Il Pomo d'oro, consists of extracts from composers of Opera Seria working in Venice in the early 18thc. , many of them unfairly neglected. I was very grateful to be introduced to Porta, Gasparini, Giacomelli, and Sellito and to be re-aquainted with Caldara, Albinoni and Vivaldi. Most of Vivaldi's arias and that of Caldara are dark,stirring and wrathful, with Cencic giving full rein to his bravura coloratura. Porta's manages to convey the apprehension in the libretto through melodic arabesques and despite a lighter treatment . Cencic infuses Gasparini's affecting and gently unfolding 'Dolce mio ben' with all the adoration and devotion required.Similarly, he imparts to us the combination of lamentation and desperation in Giacomelli's lyrical ' Sposa...non mi'. Albinoni's 'Pianta bella' marks a high point on this CD and gives us another dimension of this man (only remembered for his 'Adagio'),who was,in fact, a prolific producer of operas. Cencic brings out the compassionate poignancy of his gently flowing melodic lines. Equally arresting is Vivaldi's aria from Motezuma, moving at a regal pace and full of florid yet moving passages. The defiant,bright and virtuosic aria by Sellitto provides a stimulating 'coda' to this collection. If you adore superlative counter-tenor singing ,which can capture all the emotions of the text ,and all things Venetian ( and even 'Rococo' packaging) you must immerse yourself for an hour in these fulgent arias of the Serenissima
on 16 April 2013
Max Emanuel Cencic can do no wrong for me. His was the first counter tenor voice that made me sit up and pay attention. The obvious dedication to his craft, the faultless technique, the unparalleled musical intelligence coupled with a perfectly judged emotional intensity, and above all a simply wonderful voice, make up his art.
This recording is a set of Venice-related arias, and showcases some slightly lesser known composers and arias well worth adding to your catalogue, and Max seems to have found a niche recording gap, not for the first time. (However Max, never give up the greatest of them all - Handel - where the sheer quality and challenge of the music allows you to shine like nowhere and no-one else.)
This is an excellent recording with Il Pomo d'oro and Riccardo Minasi providing a scintillating setting. I don't hesitate to recommend it. (The perhaps unfair loss of one star is because the repertoire cannot [of course] meet top Handelian standards.)
on 31 May 2014
I think I can safely say that Max Cencic is my favourite countertenor at the moment. The voice is stunning, smooth, rounded and silky with a terrific range and his coloratura is always amazing. There's something else incredibly satisfying too and I can only describe it as flamboyance - everything is so assured and confident and glossy and I love it. This is a very good recital made up of a number of Vivaldi items interspersed with arias from less familiar composers, some totally new to me such as Porta and Sellitto. My favourite number is probably the gorgeously delicate 'Mormorando quelle fronde' by Porta (strings and harpsichord) which is pretty much on repeat on my iPad along with the dramatic 'Io son rea' from Vivaldi's 'Argippo' and the hectic 'Barbaro non comprendo' by Caldara (fantastic coloratura here).
There is really strong support from Il Pomo d'Oro conducted by Riccardo Minasi. If you love baroque opera then you will adore this!
on 21 February 2013
I must admit I was not familiar with Max Emanuel Cencic's name before I discovered him when browsing for something new to add to my Mp3 player recently, but what a find! He has the most gloriously silky tone and superb agility in this collection and his voice and artistry are mesmerising. I have long been a fan of the counter-tenor voice and have a lot of CDs of Andreas Scholl but this young singer has found a place in my heart already. I would recommend this album without hesitation. The singing is top-notch and the musical accompaniment is thrilling. I'm sure you will not be disappointed.
on 7 March 2013
I'm always on the look out for the new and exciting and I've found it with this superb albumn from Max Emanuel Cencic and Il Pomo d'oro under Riccardo Minasi, Max Emanuel has the most wonderful countertenor voice I've ever heard and is just perfect for Die Barock Musik he sings so well, each track is pure bliss, especially if you love, as I do, the music of the 17th/18th centuries. - I can't recommend it too highly.
on 25 April 2013
I cannot get enough of this and play it incessantly! The voice is exquisite: Alfred Deller, James Bowman, Cecilia Bartolli, Ferrier and Baker all rolled into one - and then some! But it isn't just the tone or timbre of the voice that seduces, but the sparkling interpretation and delivery. What silky lyricism, what vibrant verve! Can't wait to discover more of this artist.