Arias for Soprano, Trumpet and Organ
Baldassare GALUPPI (1706-1785)
Alla Tromba della Fama [6:48]
Alessandro SCARLATTI (1660-1725)
Si Suoni La Tromba [3:33]
Con Voce Festiva [1:51]
Mio Tesoro Per Te Moro [4:56]
Rompe Sprezza [ 1:15]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Organ Concerto BWV 972 [8:42]
Et Exultavit Spiritus Meus [2:17]
Henry PURCELL (1659-1695)
Sound the Trumpet [2:29]
Hark! the Echoing Air [2:42]
Giovanni VIVIANI (1638-1693)
Sonata Prima [7:27]
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Eternal Source [2:57]
Let the Bright Seraphim [5:20]
Trio Barocco (Emi Aikawa (soprano), Alberto Bardelloni (trumpet), Ivan Ronda (organ))
rec. Parrocchia della Nativitą di Maria, Buffalora, Brescia, Italy, 25-26 May and 1 June 2010. DDD
No responsible reviewer could recommend this disc. Regardless of the quality of the music-making - and there are issues there too, as discussed below - there can be absolutely no allowance made for the publication of a CD with the very end amateurishly chopped off virtually every track. That is what Italian label Sheva have done here: the still resonating trumpet or organ, sometimes with a full second or more to go before fading naturally to silence, is brought to an abrupt, totally artificial halt with digitally inserted silence.
Even if the music of these Baroque masters had not been maltreated like this, Japanese soprano Emi Aikawa's technique is a liability. The problem lies not so much with her voice. This is bright and resonant and actually has considerable potential, if further trained. She does struggle for breath in places, and her intonation is not always on the mark. The real flaw in this case rests with the fact that she often barely seems to know what words she is singing. She is just about acceptable in the extract from Bach's Magnificat, where she can manage the simple Latin text. Howver, the final track, Handel's famous 'Let the Bright Seraphim', should carry a health warning: Aikawa seems to have only the loosest grasp of the English text, substituting her own extemporised lyrics for the original. This is evident from the very beginning when she sings "Let the brigh seraphim", with no sign of the 't'. From there it unfortunately gets worse, as she comes out with "Dare loud uplifted", "dee lou", "uplifty", "chair-rubbic" and the like. In Handel's 'Eternal Source of Light Divine' she might as well be singing another language. She mangles "With double warmth Thy beams display" into "Wichubber war stine dreams display".
Aikawa has clearly had more language training when it comes to the Italian texts of Galuppi and Scarlatti, but even here her enunciation is far from ideal. Time and again she gives the impression of only roughly knowing what she is meant to be singing.
The CD disappoints in other ways too: at barely 50 minutes, it is rather short; no song texts are provided; the recording is rather closely miked; there is an obvious edit join at the start of track 10, and more than a suspicion of editing within tracks to shorten any tacet sections.
Good things about the disc are Bardelloni's trumpet playing and Ronda's organ. When performing together without Aikawa, as in Viviani's Trumpet Sonata or Bach's Organ Concerto after Vivaldi, they do pretty well - plenty of technique and enthusiasm. Bardelloni plays a very lyrical clarino. In fact, apart from the last track of the Bach, these two works emerge relatively unscathed from the producer's hacksaw. The irony is that they are clearly not "arias for soprano, trumpet and organ"!
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Overall this CD disappoints.