Danielle de Niese has it all - beautiful face, stage presence and most of all a fantastic voice which has mellowed and is particularly suited to the baroque. I enjoyed this cd a lot, and find new parts of it to enjoy each time I listen.
The audio content is outstanding and I support every other 5 star review of this CD. Unfortunately the Digital track info encoded on the CD when you place it in a computer (I tried 3) was all in Japanese script (I think!). I returned one CD to amazon but the replacement was exactly the same. I have never had this problem with any cd before or since.
I was lucky enough to see Danielle De Niese play Cleopatra in Guilio Cesare at Glyndebourne last year and her performance was electrifying. The warmth and vivacity she brings to her work just knocks you out when you see her live. I bought her last album on the strength of that, and then this one when it came out. She was on Radio 3 last night performing the Dowland live and being interviewed. She talked about how she imbues her passion for the music into the performance. She has been singing some of these pieces since she was at the Met, and as her voice develops she has been able to add more to her performance of them.
A great talent on top form singing the music she loves best, supported by a fantastic group of musicians. An awesome album. She is up there with Callas, Sutherland and Ferrier as a once in a generation voice.
This is a very well-performed and enjoyable programme of some of the Baroque's best-known and loveliest vocal works of Handel, Bach, Monteverdi, Pergolesi, Purcell and Dowland.
Danielle de Niese is a very fine singer with impeccable technique and intonation and she gives excellent performances throughout. Her style is quite Romantic in feel, with quite a bit of vibrato and an emphasis on expressive singing which makes an interesting contrast with great recordings of the recent past by Emma Kirkby, for example. I particularly like the opening of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater which she sings in duet with the great Andreas Scholl and where her overt emotional intensity works especially well. I hope they might record the whole work together at some point - on this evidence it would be something really special.
The English Concert, as one would expect, are terrific. They are completely at home in this repertoire and their playing is supple and responsive. They are excellent as an ensemble and there is some wonderful solo work - the trumpet playing in Let the Bright Seraphim and the oboe in Sich üben im lieben are quite outstanding, I thought.
Danielle de Niese is famously beautiful and Decca make full use of this, so that the cover is ambiguous about whether "The Beauty of the Baroque" is intended to refer to the music or to Ms de Niese herself. I suspect that this, combined with an air of "The Baroque's Greatest Hits" about the disc, may make some crusty old veterans of classical music like me a little dubious about whether the disc itself has real musical merit, but it genuinely does. I think it's a disc that will give real pleasure to an awful lot of people. Recommended.