Despite of the picture and the title of the disc, which I find a little bit kitsch, this is one of the best recitals I've ever heard in my life. Gorgeous music, especially the excerpts from Didone abbandonata: why are not Hasse operas recorded more frequently? It is supposed that Naxos will present this opera very soon by the way. Barna-Sabadus has a clear alto-soprano voice, reaching high notes very easily, he is an absolute genious in cadenzas and has a very special timbre, never heard in other countertenors. He can really set a new standard in countertenor voice and that's very exciting. The control of the volume of the voice is rather impressive (listen "Cadro fra poco in cenere" Wow!). The only negative aspect is that sometimes he tends to scream a bit, but I guess this can be controlled by containing his need of impress in virtually every phrase he sings. However, to be honest I think the music of Hasse demands this kind of firework singing, so no problem here. I have very high expectatives on Barna-Sabadus, and I hope he is more interested in making an intelligent career than posing as a model (marketing in baroque music is becoming to be an aspect to take into account). Anyway, I would forgive him everything only for his voice, as I do with Simone Kermes. Congratulations!
Valer Barna-Sabadus is a Romanian born countertenor who now makes his home in Germany. Born in 1986 he has his first major operatic debut singing Handel's `Rinaldo' in 2007, and since that time he has been steadily building his reputation in the smaller opera houses in Europe. He is highly regarded for his interpretation of both the older works and contemporary works that are being written with the countertenor rise in popularity.
Barna-Sabadus devotes this entire CD to the music of Johann Adolph Hasse (1699 - 1783), an 18th-century German composer, singer and teacher of music. Immensely popular in his time, Hasse was best known for his prolific operatic output, though he also composed a considerable quantity of sacred music. Hasse was a pivotal figure in the development of opera seria and 18th-century music. For this recital Barna-Sabadus is joined with the Munich Court Orchestra conducted by Michael Hofstetter and the works are form three of Hasse's operas. They are as follows:
Didone Abbandonata: Sinfonia, Aria - Tu mi disarmi il fianco, Aria - Leon ch' errando vada, Aria - Chiama mi pur così, Aria - Cadrà fra poco in cenere
La Gelosia: Recitative - Perdono, amata Nice, Aria. Bei labbri che Amore, Recitative -Son reo, son reo, non mi difendo, Aria - Giura il nocchier che al mare
Artaserse: Aria - Or la nube procellosa
Valer Barna-Sabadus is technically proficient and finds all of the necessary filigree used to embellish da capo lines completely comfortable. His vocal tone is not as warm and golden as some of his fellow countertenors, but it has a very natural sound and likely he will find his niche in the more antagonistic roles for this voice range. It seems we are in a period where the number of new countertenors keeps rising and that is a very welcome sign that some of these older works will begin to fill the stages of the opera houses around the world. Grady Harp, Octoberr 12
I have found this album a bit by accident, but from the first moment, it got me mesmerised! Amazing quality of performance. He is a real gem. Clarity and beauty of his voice, as well as control of it that he presents are truly stunning!
I would definitely recomment this album as you will love it from the first sounds you hear.
Valer Barna-Sabadus is one of a new generation of counter tenors who look more like pop stars. This man's voice range is something extraordinary, but there again so is the tone quality. The recorded material of this undeservedly overlooked composer continues to grow - thank goodness!
More renditions from a gentleman with an exquisite voice. There is no straining on the high notes and the agility of the voice is amazing at times. I have acquired several other recordings now that I am aware of his voice. Don't let the picture of the sleeve put you off! for you will be blown away by the voice