What a wonderful contrast! Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Bach’s Magnificat represent the two oft-compared composers at Dixit . He had already written two Italian operas, and his career path clearly pointed in that direction. The Dixit is as extravagant as Bach’s Magnificat is controlled. The two pieces are such a good fit that one wonders why they haven’t turned up together more frequently, if, in fact, they have at all.
Henri Dutilleux's work has been gaining attention through a number of significant recent recordings. Esa-Pekka Salonen recorded his Correspondances with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and Ludovic Morlot has recorded both his symphonies, as well as other works, as the new conductor of the Seattle Symphony. This opportunity to experience and appraise his work casts him as among the most significant French composers of the late twentieth century.
Though these works were written originally for the barock transverse flute, exept BWV 997 that was written probably for the lute, they are played here on the barock recorder. The result, at least to my taste, is more convincing and exhilarating than any performance of these works on the transvers flute that i ever heard.
Emmanuelle Haïm has established herself as one of the world’s leading performers, conductors and interpreters of Baroque repertoire, not only with Le Concert d’Astrée, the ensemble she founded in 2000, but with several of the world’s greatest orchestras. Known for her fresh and expressive approach to Baroque music, she has garnered critical acclaim and several international awards with her own ensemble, including Victoires de la Musique Classique, ECHOs, Gramophone Awards, and Grammy nominations.
Countertenor Philippe Jaroussky continues to amaze with the facility of his technique in the most demanding coloratura repertoire, the intelligence and deep feeling of his musicianship, and, most especially, with the full, vibrant quality of his distinctive voice. It has lost none of its freshness since he burst onto the international scene in the last years of the 20th century, and has become a richer, stronger instrument without giving up any of its remarkable agility. A champion of neglected Baroque composers, he turns his attention to Antonio Caldara (ca. 1671-1736), a near-contemporary of Vivaldi's.
Following the trend of singers releasing recitals based on the repertoire of great performers of previous centuries – Cecilia Bartoli's tribute to Maria Malibran and Juan Diego Flórez's to Giovanni Battista Rubini, for instance – countertenor Philippe Jaroussky has devoted a CD to the repertoire of eighteenth century castrato Giovanni Carestini, who was a rival of Farinelli's. According to contemporary accounts, Farinelli was the more virtuosic of the two, with a hair-raisingly dazzling coloratura, and Carestini was noted for the beauty and purity of his tone, and his profound musical and dramatic characterizations. The demands of the arias collected here make it clear that Carestini must also have had a fully developed technique, because they require remarkable agility and an awe-inspiring range that essentially encompasses both soprano and contralto registers, as well as great interpretive sensitivity. Jaroussky's voice is not large, but he has plenty of power for even the most dramatically charged of these selections. It's notable for its absolutely accurate intonation, and its pure, creamy tone, with a gleam not often heard in countertenors. He also possesses a formidable technique and sings the most treacherous coloratura passages with effortless-sounding agility and freedom. He has a breathtaking pianissimo that can broaden from near inaudibility to full-throated warmth. Perhaps the most striking thing about his performances, though, is the depth of his musical characterizations, which comes from giving life to his characters' emotions through the deeply felt shaping of every phrase. There is not a moment of perfunctory Baroque note-spinning on the album – every run and ornament is packed with meaning and passion.