Diva - Danielle de Niese
HANDEL/Morgan POCHIN (b.1971) Lucrezia - Based on the aria Gia nel seno from La Lucrezia HWV 145 [3:02]
Karl JENKINS (b.1944) Exsultate Jubilate based on Palladio for string orchestra [3:52]
Alessandro MARCELLO (1669-1747) Pace non trovo (arr. James Morgan and Juliette Pochin) [3:57]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/James Morgan
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Rinaldo Lascia ch'io pianga [4:59]
Giulio Cesare in Egitto Da tempeste [6.18]; Piangero la sorte mia [6.19]
Semele Myself I shall adore [7:34]; Endless pleasure, endless love [3:29]
Les Arts Florissants/William Christie
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Exsultate, jubilate K165 [4.39] and Alleluja [2.42]
Don Giovanni K527 La ci darem la mano [??] with Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone); Ah! fuggi il traditor [1.18]
Vesperae solennes de confessore K339 Laudate Dominum [4.33]
Danielle de Niese (soprano)
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Sir Charles Mackerras
rec. various venues, Handel, May 2007; Mozart, November 2008 and 1 April 2009. Others, January 2010
DECCA 478 2417 DH [56.06]
As famous industrialists such as Branson, Harvey-Jones or Sugar might say, if you own an asset then use it to the maximum. This seems to be Decca’s philosophy with this issue. It is a pot-pourri from two Danielle de Niese recital discs for the label, plus a mélange, or even a blancmange, of other trite pieces of little provenance or substance to make up something different. Add the words “World Premiere Recording” for the Karl Jenkins version of Exsultate Jubilate and the marketing men obviously believe they can milk the punters with a disc of fifty-six minutes. They might well be right; especially as the glamorous Miss de Niese (b.1979) has just had a pretty high profile on the BBC’s Opera Italia season.
The best singing in this collection comes from the two earlier recitals, of arias by Handel (see review) and Mozart (see review). Of particular worthy note are the arias from Cleopatra (trs.5-6) with their marked variety of mood and demand for characterisation and Semele (trs.11-12). Similarly the two parts of the Mozart motet Exsultate, jubilate included here, (trs.7-8), show the singer’s expressive skills as well as her good articulation and intonation. Given the sparse timing of this disc why not the whole? After all the missing middle Fulget amica dies is only six minutes long. It illustrates, as it was intended, another facet of a singer’s capacity and does so in the original recital. With the 2010 add-ons, in a different acoustic that smells more of future cross-over than serious singing, it seems the marketing men are the bosses. The singer is not advancing our knowledge of, what we hope, are her developing vocal capacities and skills. Certainly none are demanded of her in the most recently recorded additions. The booklet does not even provide the words and translations as the earlier recitals did.
There are no markers in the new material, either in the demands of the music or in her singing, that indicate any development of Miss de Niese’s potential. I hope this is not a portent of a talent lost to serious musicianship. My industrialists might be worrying about the devaluation of their asset.
Robert J Farr
This poor value disc is a marketing ploy that tells us nothing of Miss de Niese’s development