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This review is from: Arias for Caffarelli / Franco Fagioli (Audio CD)
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").