£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

alternatively
CD: Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS

 

Furore
George Frideric HANDEL
(1685 – 1759)

Crude furie (Serse) (1738) [3.43]
Dolce ripososo (Teseo) (1713) [3.14]
Ira, sdegni, e furore (Teseo) (1713) [4.46]
Moriro, ma vendicata  (Teseo) (1713) [4.46]
L’angue offeso mai riposa (Giulio Cesare) (1724) [5.22]
Chiudetevi miei lumi (Admeto) (1727) [7.33]
There in myrtle shades reclined (Hercules) (1745) [4.40]
Hence, Iris hence away (Semele) (1744) [3.39]
Sorge nell’alma mia (Imeneo) (1740) [5.21]
Scherza infida (Ariodante) (1735) [10.54]
Gelosia, spietata Aletto (Admeto) (1727) [5.00]
Destero dall’empia Dite (Amadigi) (1715) [5.23]
Cease Ruler of the Day (Hercules) (1745) [4.44]
Where shall I fly (Hercules) (1745) [6.00]
Joyce DiDonato (mezzo)
Les Talens Lyriques/Christopher Rousset
rec. during and after performances at Theatre de la Monnaie, Brussels, April 2008
VIRGIN CLASSICS 5190382 [75.08]
Experience Classicsonline

For her first recital disc, American mezzo-soprano has chosen a fascinating selection of Handel arias, under the title of Fuore. Though the recital ostensibly explores madness in various different Handel characters, DiDonato avoids the most obvious selection by omitting Orlando’s mad scene. The recital mixes well known with lesser known pieces, so that it successfully avoids being simply another stroll through Handel’s greatest hits.
 
Any collection of Handel arias would be quite a challenge for a debut recital, but DiDonato cuts herself very little slack by selecting a number of virtuoso bravura pieces. It is to her credit that not only does she bring this off but gives us a profoundly satisfying, enthralling and musical recital, rather than mere fireworks.
 
The recital opens with a bravura account of Serse’s Crude furie.  This is then followed by three of Medea’s arias from Teseo, Medea being one of Handel’s most striking creations. She continues with Sesto’s revenge aria from Giulio Cesare, Admeto’s deathbed scene, tormented by Furies, and Alceste’s jealousy aria from Admeto. Juno’s Iris hence away from Semele is, perhaps, stretching the Fuore label a little. But Tirinto’s impassioned aria of jealous frustration from Imeneo has the advantage of being right on subject and has the advantage of being relatively rare on disc. The final group of arias consists of Ariodante’s Scherza infida, Melissa’s Act 2 aria from Amadigi and a pair of Dejanira’s arias from Hercules finishing with her mad scene, Where shall I fly.
 
As can be seen from this list, DiDonato’s selection ranges quite widely, both in style and subject matter, and covers an attractive variety of types of arias. DiDonato is highly adept at the bravura, virtuoso singing required here. She has an enviably secure technique with a warm toned voice. The cover, with its glamour shots of the singer, certainly does her a disservice; she is far more intelligent and musical singer than it would lead you to believe.
 
DiDonato has quite a wide range when it comes to opera and this shows on this disc where here voice is richer and more varied than some singers. It must be admitted that in some of the faster, highly articulated passages she barely avoids producing a Cecilia-Bartoli-like clucking, but luckily this is not too persistent a habit.
 
In some of the quieter numbers DiDonato sings in a more intimate, almost cooing manner that is very much designed just for CD, I can’t imagine it working in a house the size of Covent Garden or the Met. If overdone this mode of delivery could be annoying but in arias like Scherza infida it proves profoundly moving.
 
DiDonato has clearly thought about the affekts used in each aria. You never feel that the singing is just thoughtlessly cantering through the music. Sometimes her expressiveness can go over the top as in Dejanira’s Where shall I fly where DiDonato bends the vocal line and uses sub-vocalisation; granted this is all in the name of expression but I felt she should have trusted Handel’s vocal line a little more.
 
Ornamentation is kept within the bounds of taste and decency, which is a great relief, though there is a noticeable tendency for the singer to push the vocal line up in the ornaments. DiDonato is ably accompanied by Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques; who provide crisp, vibrant playing. The CD booklet includes an informative essay by the estimable David Vickers and has full texts. The disc was recording in collaboration with La Monnaie in Brussels, being recorded during and after performances in the theatre, which perhaps explains the wonderful vividness of the performances.
 
I am aware that this review perhaps sounds less than enthusiastic at times but this is an absorbing and brilliant recital, a highly impressive debut. Only in a few details does DiDonato fall below the high standard she sets herself.
 
Robert Hugill
 


 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.