...Philippe Jaroussky gets better and better, but then one goes back to this disc from 2007 and finds him just as astonishing a performer back then. I'm not going to go over the same ground as the many reviewers here, except to single out in particular Jaroussky's performance on this recording of "Scherza infida" as the most affecting and moving I have heard (indeed of any aria by any composer sung by any performer for that matter), aided by the sensitive accompaniment of Le Convert d'Astrée. Director Emanuelle Haim can be a bit self-indulgent with her arrangements but there's nothing out of place here. 'Nuff said.
Whilst I am aware of Carestini I am not familiar with some of his repertoire. Once again Philippe Jaroussky delights with a varied repertoire. I daresay to some people who have much better trained ear there may be imperfections. For me it is 72 minutes of shear pleasure
Bought this originally as a CD years ago; case fell apart from much use, as they do, but still I play the CD in the car as, with only a short trip to work, by the time I''ve plugged my iPod into the car's system and told it to play what I want and repeated it umpteen times because the track title is in Italian, I'm in the car-park and people are looking at me askance for apparently shouting at myself in Italian - life's too short. But on tablets, the download is fine. Philippe Jaroussky has astonishing technique, wonderful expression and clear enunciation - bravissimo!
If you like counter-tenors then you'll love this CD. Jaroussky is brilliant on this CD and the programme is fantastic for his voice. I bought it for a friend who loves it. I would recommend this CD and this seller to anyone who is interested in this period of music making.
I have capitulated. I have now bought all the CDs by Jaroussky and this one, I think, is my favourite. Not for Jaroussky the slow plodding of the cross-country skier (the fate of some great counter-tenors)but rather the tours en l'air of the fearless skate-boarder - usually, but on this CD he chooses to display the 'pure, clear and sublime' style of Carestini instead of the pyrotechnics of Farinelli who 'surprises more than he touches' according to a contemporary.These rivals came to vocal blows in Rome,1722-23, and in London,1734,when Carestini came to the rescue of Handel who had just been deserted by his favourite castrato, Senesino. We hear on this CD some of the exquisite arias Handel wrote for Carestini but which failed to detain him for more than a season. The interesting choice of composers (some unknown to me) gives Jaroussky the opportunity to beguile us with those delicate,velvety tones(arias 1, 11)and impress us with his wide vocal range, hitting the low notes robustly and strongly(arias 3,7,10,12).Jaroussky is at his most arresting in Capelli's aria in which he achieves the tenderest phrasing and a honeyed lilting effect.You catch yourself levitating and not breathing at the end of this. At moments in this and aria 4 it's hard to distinguish the voice from oboe. The 'purity of his (Carestini's) sound and perfect style of singing' is captured best by Jaroussky in his pure,unembellished ,yet affecting, singing of arias 6 and 8. There are plenty of arias with exuberant tempi where Philippe can dash from soft shades to brash sunlight(Gluck) but his delivery of the coloratura sections is restrained, in keeping with the vocal subtlety of Carestini.