Notes and Editorial Reviews
Featuring: Rene Jacobs, Maria Cristina Kiehr and Susanne Ryden.
Picture Format: NTSC 4:3 / Sound Format: Stereo / Region Code: 0 / Duration: 55 minutes / Subtitles: English, German, French / Booklet: English, German, French / Language: English, French.
RENÉ JACOBS: Singer & Teacher
Claude Mouriéras, dir
HARMONIA MUNDI 9909030 (DVD: 55:00)
This DVD is the first of a series
broadcast on French television from 1987 to 1991. The series, titled
Private Music Lessons
, aimed to show various artists as performers but especially as teachers.
In three segments we see Jacobs coaching two young singers. In the first and third segments, Jacobs guides Argentinean soprano Maria Cristina Kiehr through the aria “Alla sua gabbia d’oro” from
and the title aria from the cantata
Mi palpita il cor
. Both of these sessions are in French, with available subtitles in English and German. In the second, he coaches Swedish soprano Susanne Rydén in the aria “Quanto dolci” from
. This section is in English. Both sopranos have gone on to distinguished careers in early music, with many recordings to their credit. Between these sessions we are given a snippet of Jacobs talking (in French) about how he decided to become a countertenor. In the last segment, Jacobs performs the entire cantata
Mi palpita il cor.
This very interesting program gives the viewer an inside look at the myriad details that go into the preparation of the performance of a Baroque opera. The attention to detail is astounding. This film has given me a new respect for Jacobs as an artist. At the time this film was made, Jacobs was still singing. He had not yet begun his conducting career but was planning to make the transition from singer to conductor. His performance of the cantata reminds us that he was one of the best countertenors of his generation.
Viewers looking for some insight into one of the aspects of the preparation of a Handel opera performance, as well as Jacobs’ many admirers, will want to own this.
FANFARE: Ron Salemi
Works on This Recording
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