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Italian Oratorios / Matthew White, Jeanne Lamon, Tafelmusik


Release Date: 04/20/2004 
Label:  Analekta   Catalog #: 29813   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Jan Dismas ZelenkaAntonio VivaldiAlessandro ScarlattiAntonio Caldara
Performer:  Matthew White
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Includes Bonus CD!


Following his outstanding Cannes Classical Award-winning CD Elegeia for this same label (type Q6342 in Search Reviews), countertenor Matthew White fully confirms the extraordinary performance standard he set on that recording. In fact, in these excerpts from Italian oratorios, White's voice seems even stronger and richer, his technique more fluid, his delivery more confident. In part this impression comes from the repertoire, which here is more operatic and thus more virtuosic than on the earlier disc. Just listen to the opening arias by Zelenka and you'll not only be impressed with White's commanding presence, golden sonority, and soaring lines, but also by
Read more Zelenka's stylish, sophisticated, and very attractive music, which ranks among the finest of the genre (and is the best on this well-chosen program).


White also shows his stuff in the slower, more lyrical arias, such as Vivaldi's sensuous "Noli ò cara te adorantis" ("Do not rebuff, o dearest..."), Scarlatti's "Perchè mormora il ruscello", and in the middle section of Zelenka's "A che riserbano", with the sensitively-set text "Great God, the tears of a wretched mother are asking you for mercy"--which is preceded and followed by some of the more exciting vocal writing (and performing) you'll ever hear, accompanying the irresistibly volatile words "For what do the Heavens save their lightning bolts, if they do not brandish them in the face of wickedness?"


As suggested in the liner notes, the three-movement opening to Alessandro Scarlatti's Cain, overo Il primo omicidio (The first murder) is nothing less than a "mini-concerto for solo violin", and Jeanne Lamon delivers an appropriately exciting interpretation that sets the stage for White's equally enthralling vocalism in four widely varied arias selected from the larger work. The program closes on a somber note, with a "tormented" Peter singing the opening aria from Caldara's Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.


A bonus--and it really is, in every sense of the word--is a second "compilation" CD featuring 13 tracks selected from various Analekta releases. Included are the best number from the above-mentioned Elegeia disc--the Bach aria "Ich habe genug"--along with a Handel aria by contralto-extraordinaire Marie-Nicole Lemieux (type Q5991 in Search Reviews), some works by Christoph Graupner, the famous "Air" from Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 with Tafelmusik, and Fritz Kreisler's Liebeslied, performed by outstanding Canadian violinist James Ehnes. The sound is ideal--and you won't hear better baroque-repertoire vocalism, or countertenor singing, anywhere. And even though I said this last year when Elegeia was issued, I have to say it again: this is definitely a candidate for a disc of the year award. Don't miss it. [4/16/2004]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Gesù al Calvario by Jan Dismas Zelenka
Performer:  Matthew White (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1735; Bohemia 
Language: Italian 
2.
Juditha triumphans, RV 644 by Antonio Vivaldi
Performer:  Matthew White (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1716; Italy 
Language: Italian 
3.
Concerto for Strings in C major, RV 114 by Antonio Vivaldi
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: Venice, Italy 
4.
Cain overo Il primo omicidio by Alessandro Scarlatti
Performer:  Matthew White (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1707; Venice, Italy 
Language: Italian 
5.
La Passione di Gesù Cristo by Antonio Caldara
Performer:  Matthew White (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Jeanne Lamon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tafelmusik
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1730 
Language: Italian 

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