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8 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute joy, 18 Sep 2013
By 
Mordrain (Milan, Italy) - See all my reviews
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I heard Fagioli for the first time in Artaserse, from Vinci, and his performance stood out, well above the all-star cast of that opera.
I feared a delusion in this CD, being my expectances so high, but, well, I got just a corroboration of the appreciation for the marvellous vocal accomplishments of this artist!
A sumptuous voice, incredibly rich, flexible, agile, and, at the same time, nuanced, neither aggressive nor rampant. A true, deep pleasure for the listening, and also a great sensibility, the capacity to convey true meaning: passion, pain, fear, rage... Following my present knowledge, Fagioli is the best-best-best guy of the countertenors bunch!

Well, beyond the vocal pleasure, we can find a well capable conductor (Riccardo Minasi) and an excellent orchestra (Il Pomo d'Oro), that complete the top quality of this disc. Precision, liveliness and sparkle mark IMHO this execution.

Talking about the repertoire, in this CD we can found several arias composed for a well renowed castrato, Caffarelli. The wonderful French/English booklet, copious in texts and iconography, tells a lot about his life, atouts and temperamental flaws. Though I would not claim any of these arias as a masterpiece, all of them are pleasant and some are really touching (particularly in Pergolesi's "Lieto così talvolta").
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Show Off, 3 Sep 2013
By 
JB (Cambridge UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Franco Fagioli has been one of the leading countertenors of the new generation for a few years now, ever since winning the prestigious Neue Stimmen competition in Germany in 2003. Recently though, with recordings like Vinci: Artaserse and now Steffani: Stabat Mater / Bartoli as well as some sensational stage performances, his career has taken a dramatic new trajectory. This album from the French label Nave catches Fagioli riding a wave of dazzling showmanship backed by an astounding technique beyond the dreams of most mortals.

Fittingly, Fagioli has chosen here to reflect the theatricality and swagger, as well as the extravagant virtuosity of Gaetano Majorano, a compatriot of the more well-known Farinelli. The impressive 76 page booklet is full of anecdotes about his outrageous behaviour, both on and off stage, for Caffarelli, as he re-named himself, was quite the prima donna. He used various techniques to unnerve other soloists onstage lest they steal his limelight, and he wasn't averse to challenging those who crossed his path to a duel. (In the London of 1738 however, he met his match in Handel, who was well used to dealing with big egos. On the pretext of concern that Caffarelli may forget his lines in Faramondo, Handel accompanied on the harpsichord playing every note of his aria, as one might with an inexperienced and nervous singer. Presumably Caffarelli was suitably chastened.)

Interestingly, on this CD Handel is conspicuous by his absence. The recital begins with a couple of arias for Medarse from Hasse's Siroe, the first showcasing Fagioli's Bartoli-like intensity in depicting the drama of a storm, the second designed to exhibit an equally important strand of technique, that of holding the long flowing line. And so we move through the repertoire of Caffarelli, each aria highlighting aspects of that extraordinary range and technical ability; from roulades to chromatic runs, Fagioli and Il Pomo d'Oro reflect the glamour and excitement which must have prevailed in an opera house at the appearance of these superstars.

The booklet which accompanies the CD manages to be both scholarly and amusing, the richly reproduced illustrations giving a compelling glimpse into the life of this castrato assoluto.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnifico!, 10 Sep 2013
The amazingly talented young counter-tenor Franco Fagioli presents a quite rare, sophisticated and demanding selection of baroque arias. A beautiful voice, a perfect technique, a refined musicality: all of these assets make Fagioli's prospects in discography quite promising, in my view. This CD is a revelation or even a sensation in baroque music interpretation this year.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!, 18 Sep 2013
By 
The 'Arias for Cafferelli' CD takes us into the world of Baroque opera where tempests rage, sons are condemned by their fathers and lovers bewail their partings in a wonderful range of visceral music. Those who have heard Fagioli in Vinci's Artaserse will have an idea of his amazing range, technique and sheer beauty of delivery. He does not disappoint. From the furies of outrage, the despair at parental judgement, to the most tender feelings of love, he carries us spellbound. So does Il Pomo D'Oro under Riccardo Minasti. They bombast us with brass for the furies of nature, sing duets with Fagioli with wind instruments and then let the strings so sensitively describe his sorrow - all with a superb mellow golden tone. It is a gem of a CD with a booklet to match.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE IT!, 9 Dec 2013
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I was introduced to this CD by a friend of mine and knew I had to own it for myself as I love the sound of a male alto. Until now, I have avidly followed the career of Andreas Scholl but this man is in a league of his own! The sound he creates is incredible and extraordinary! I bought a CD for myself and the same for a friend who will also love it I know!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new star is born, 7 Oct 2013
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Great first solo CD of Franco Fagioli, stunning voice and exquisite selection of arias, accompanied by one of the new and best orchestras, Il Pomo d'Oro.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic counter tenor, 21 Oct 2013
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this is a great CD. Fabioli is an amazing singer, not only the technical brilliance, but his feel for the music too.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Franco Fagioli, 17 Oct 2013
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Brilliantly beautiful, an amazing voice and a wonderful choice of music. This is certainly for lovers of early music and the counter tenor voice.
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Arias for Caffarelli
Arias for Caffarelli by Franco Fagioli / Il Pomo d'Oro / Riccardo Minasi
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