Top positive review
27 people found this helpful
Handel as you've never heard him
on 20 January 2009
First of all, it's impossible to articulate adequately Ms. DiDonato's talents, vocal or interpretive. Much praise has already been written, all deserved. She can do seemingly everything possible with the human voice, due to a technique that is based purely on the breath (a thing which is surprisingly more rare these days than one would like to believe), and a mind so sharply attuned to the underlying meaning of music and text, that her voice cannot but follow its demands.
For those who labor under the misapprehension that Baroque music is staid and (yes, I have heard it said) passionless, give this CD a listen, and you'll realize just how wrought with human emotion this music is, if there are artists intelligent and daring enough to plumb its considerable depths. From the searing insanity of Dejaneira to the piercing poignancy of Ariodante, this wonderful collection scans the landscape of heart and mind, painted to stunning effect with the multi-coloured palette of Ms. DiDonato's voice, which is matched hue for hue by Les Talens Lyrique under the insightful baton of Christophe Rousset.
I'm sure there are Baroque specialists who would quibble with some of Ms. DiDonato's embellishments; but surely no one can deny the absolute conviction with which they are executed, nor the drama they convey. As to the suitability of her voice for Handel, let me just assert that I find it refreshing to hear a full-blooded instrument with a natural, unapologetic vibrato singing this glorious music. That is not to say that Ms. DiDonato avoids straight tone--on the contrary, she uses it often, to mesmerizing effect; but is is just that: an EFFECT, not an entire school of singing.
This CD should be a prize possession in any vocal music lover's collection. Buy it, and revel in Handelian sublimity.