14 tracks - MP3 192 Kbps - RAR Mb
These performances have got nothing if not style--and charisma to burn. And burn is what the first aria does, its fire flaming directly from the mouth of Spanish soprano María Bayo. Is this image too much for you? Well, just listen and you'll be hard-pressed not to come up with a picture of some kind of pyrotechnic activity. Bayo displays some habits I'm not fond of--a sort of "swallowed" quality on some notes, a tendency to push interpretive gestures to the border of the "too-cute" and, in the case of "Lascia ch'io pianga", the overwrought--but forget all of that: this is really magnificent singing accompanied by interpretive instincts that invariably show the true theatrical essence of these wonderful Handel creations. Bayo's orchestral partners are more than able accomplices: these are first rate players who really relish their music and consequently make it live--robustly, vivaciously, and passionately. Bayo sings as if no wild runs or leaping lines are too difficult, and her brief duet passages with various instruments in the cantata Tra le fiamme HWV 170 are impressive bits of virtuosity. The aria "Se pieta" from Giulio Cesare shows how far Bayo will go to inject personality into a piece that otherwise depends only on its considerable melodic loveliness for impact. It's not offensive or tasteless, just, well, characterful, and in this instance it works. Besides the more familiar works, Bayo also treats us to one of Handel's more curious and rarely heard pieces, composed in 1707 during his sojourn in Italy: it's a cantata in Spanish with guitar accompaniment, No se emendará jamás. This is not only a nice programmatic touch, it's a delightful work that, along with the rest of the disc, is well worth hearing. The sound is bright, detailed, and suitably lively for complementing repertoire and singer.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
Giulio Cesare: Da Tempeste (Cleopatra)
Giulio Cesare: V'Adoro, Pupille - Sinfonia & Aria (Cleopatra)
Rinaldo: Lascia Ch'Io Pianga (Almirena)
Cantata, HWV 170. Aria & Recitativo: Tra Le Fiamme...
Cantata, HWV 170. Aria & Recitativo: Pien Di Nuovo...
Cantata, HWV 170. Aria & Recitativo: Voli Per L'Aria...
Giulio Cesare: Che Sento? Oh Dio! (Cleopatra)
Giulio Cesare: Se Pietа (Cleopatra)
Cantata, HWV 140. Aria & Recitativo: No Se Emendarejame
Cantata, HWV 140. Aria: Dicente Mis Ojos...
Alcina: Torna Mi A Vagheggiar (Morgana)
Alcina: Si, Son Quella! (Alcina)
Alcina: Mi Restano Le Lagrime (Alcina)
Maria Bayo, soprano
dir. Skip Sempé