Anima Sacra — Baroque Sacred Arias, featuring Jakub Józef Orlinski—Erato
A dramatic presentation of unknown religious arias that carry the operatic traditions of high baroque opera.
“The Flaming Fire: Mary Queen of Scots & Her World” [TrackList follows] – Parthenia/ Ryland Angel, tenor and countertenor/ Dongsok Shin, virginal – MSR
A fine and fascinating examination of a period not always covered in its complexities.
“Music for Queen Caroline” = HANDEL: The king shall rejoice; Te Deum ‘Caroline’; The Ways of Zion do mourn – Tim Meade, countertenor/ Sean Clayton, tenor/ Lisandro Abadie, bass-bar./ Les Arts Florissants/ William Christie – Arts Florissants
Thematic programming at its absolute best!
BACH: Mass in b – Hana Blazikova, sop./ Sophie Harmsen, mezzo-sop./ Terry Wey, countertenor/ Eric Stoklassa, tenor/ Tomas Kral & Marian Krejcik, bass/ Collegium Vocale 1704/ Collegium 1704/ Vaclav Luks – Accent (2 CDs)
Bach as he was meant to sound in a performance of admirable quality and visceral excitement.
“HANDEL: Bad Guys” = Countertenor arias – Xavier Sabata – Arparté
We’ll never know what Handel’s castrato soloists actually sounded like, thank goodness, but Xavier Sabata seems to have the full measure of this music’s emotional range.
“Io Vidi in Terra” = Jose Lemos, countertenor/ Jory Vinikour, harpsichord/ Deborah Fox, Theorbo – Sono Luminus Pure Audio Blu-ray+CD
Countertenors seem to me quite artificial in nature. But artists like Lemos stand previous assumptions on their head.
Down by the Salley Gardens – Bejun Mehta, countertenor/ Julius Drake, piano – Harmonia mundi
If I can be convinced by the felicities of a countertenor, believe me, anyone can. And this is not to be missed.
JOHN DOWLAND: Lute Songs – Alfred Deller, countertenor / Robert Spencer, lute / The Consort of Six – Harmonia mundi (2 CDs)
The greatest art song composer of the early baroque, sung by the most expressive countertenor of our time.
“Ombra Cara: Arias of GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL” – Bejun Mehta, countertenor / Rosemary Joshua, soprano/ Freiburger Barockorchester / René Jacobs – Harmonia mundi (with DVD)
Metha negotiates those leaps, trills, and runs with the kind of ease a great flutist would command, but it’s the emotional involvement in the music that truly distinguishes his performances.