Vivica Genaux - Handel, Hasse: Arias

Vivica Genaux - Handel, Hasse: Arias
Styles: Opera
Genre: Classical
Album: Handel, Hasse: Arias
Release Date: September 4, 2006
Artist: Vivica Genaux
Duration: 01:11:56

It takes a spectacular female voice to do justice to the soprano arias of Italian opera of the early eighteenth century, for this music, of which the arias by Handel and Johann Adolf Hasse recorded here offer quintessential examples, was the domain of the castrato, the surgically castrated male singer who had the power of male musculature but the range of a soprano. Fortunately, mezzo soprano Vivica Genaux, a native of Fairbanks, AK, has everything it takes to fill the shoes of the castrati. She has dramatic presence. She has a top range of awesome clarity and rhythmic vigor. Her low notes are shiver-inducing growls and pitch-perfect imprecations, and she jumps between segments of her range with the precision of a ballet dancer. Genaux's agility is especially important when it comes to the Handel arias, which are virtuosic not just in the sense of being showpieces but also because they often demand that the singer subject herself to lines that come out difficult for essentially musical reasons. Some wide leaps result, and Genaux fills them in with all the colors of a fireworks display. The music of Hasse, which Genaux has announced an intention to revive, initially seems warmer and less fiery, for it lies easily in the throat. But Hasse, whom the castrati called "il caro Sassone" (the Dear Saxon), treated his singers well, with heavily yet elegantly ornamented lines and extended single-breath feats that bring to mind the displays of gospel singers.

Providing rich, warm, yet quiet support are Les Violons du Roy, the Quebec-based Baroque string ensemble that has been establishing itself on a level with any other in the world, and its conductor, Bernard Labadie. This is a superior Baroque vocal recital from an absolutely compelling singer.

Title/ComposerPerformerTime
Orlando, opera, HWV 31
Aria 'Fammi combattere mostri e tifei'Vivica Genaux3:44 Amazon
Aria 'Ah! Stigie larve... Già latra Cerbero... Vaghe pupille'Vivica Genaux7:20 Amazon
Alcina, opera, HWV 34
Aria 'Sta nell'Ircana pietrosa tana'Vivica Genaux5:37 Amazon
Splende l'alba in oriente, cantata, for alto & orchestra, HWV 166
Aria 'Splenda l'alba in oriente'Vivica Genaux5:42 Amazon
Recitativo 'Tu, armonica Cecilia'Vivica Genaux0:33 Amazon
Aria 'La virtute è un vero nume'Vivica Genaux4:22 Amazon
Arminio, opera
Aria 'Ti lascio in ceppi avvinto'Vivica Genaux7:31 Amazon
Aria 'Se mia speranza sola'Vivica Genaux7:47 Amazon
Aria 'Vaghi rai, pupille amate'Vivica Genaux9:55 Amazon
No, perdonami, o Clori, cantata for alto & orchestra (La Scusa)
Recitativo 'No, perdonami, o Clori'Vivica Genaux0:58 Amazon
Aria 'Trova un sol'Vivica Genaux10:00 Amazon
Recitativo 'Placati, o pastorella'Vivica Genaux2:02 Amazon
Aria 'Torna in quell'onda chiara'Vivica Genaux6:25 Amazon

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