Fête Galante, a 1999 release featuring soprano Karina Gauvin and pianist Marc-André Hamelin, won numerous awards, and the outstanding performances on this 2011 reissue confirm how well-deserved those honors were. Gauvin has an exceptional voice – clarion-bright, warm, confident, and agile, with a variegated palette of colors – and her effortlessly incisive interpretive skills give depth and life to everything she sings. The distinctiveness and character she brings to these songs show a terrific grasp of the genre of the mélodie, from the late 19th century songs by Fauré and the young Debussy to the mid-20th works by Poulenc, Honegger, and Émile Vuillermoz. The CD demonstrates her range with the zany comedy of Poulenc's "Paganini" followed immediately by the intensely poignant multi-layered sadness of the composer's profound "C." Throughout, Gauvin's tone is ravishingly pure and she soars gloriously in the more lyrical songs.
Agostino Steffani’s sumptuous 1688 opera Niobe, Regina di Tebe has proved a revelation to audiences since its first modern production in 2008. The spellbinding French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who appeared in its US premiere at the Boston Early Music Festival in 2011, stars in this new recording, with Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin in the title role of the proud, but tragic Theban queen.
Canadian superstar soprano Karina Gauvin pays tribute to baroque diva Anna Maria Strada del Pò, singing rarities by Vinci, Vivaldi and some of the greatest Handel arie di bravura. Like Strada del Pò in her prime, Miss Gauvin sings this repertoire with powerful expression and brilliant technique, in particular, the trills for which Strada del Pò was renowned. More than thirteen opera roles were created by Handel for Strada del Pò (including Sosarme, Orlando, and Alcina). Strada del Pò’s talent and style may have influenced the composer’s work as much as he contributed to the vocal and dramatic development of the prima donna in the first decades of the 18th century.
This is a reference for anyone studying Latin American dancing at Bronze, Silver or Gold level as well as any competitor who would like to study the basics again in more detail.