Sandrine Piau - Handel: Opera Seria (2004)

Sandrine Piau - Handel: Opera Seria (2004)

Artist: Sandrine Piau
Title: Handel: Opera Seria
Year Of Release: 2004
Label: Naive
Genre: Classical, Opera, Vocal
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue,log,scans)
Total Time: 67:09
Total Size: 338 Mb


01. Scoglio d'immota fronte (Scipione), 4:57.69
02. Verdi piante (Orlando), 6:19.44
03. Che sento..Oh Dio! (Giulio Cesare), 1:07.02
04. Se pieta (Giulio Cesare), 7:43.25
05. L'amor ed il destin (Partenope), 2:59.43
06. Ah spietato (Amadigi), 5:25.25
07. Brilla nell'alma (Alessandro), 5:20.14
08. Ombre piante (Rodelinda), 5:45.51
09. Combattuta da due venti (Faramondo), 5:54.74
10. Cor di padre (Tamerlano), 8:16.41
11. M'ai resa infelice (Deidamia), 3:52.28
12. Son qual stanco (Arianna in Creta), 9:24.73

Sandrine Piau, soprano
Christophe Rousset, Les talens lyriques

Handel: Opera Seria is the third solo recital disc to come from soprano Sandrine Piau on Naïve Classique. In this instance, Piau is taking on the opera arias of ye big, bald, and perpetually peruked master of musicke, George Frideric Handel. Here Piau receives the sumptuous support of Les Talens Lyriques, led with expertise and good tempo choices by Christophe Rousset, so this setting invites nothing of the controversy sparked by the clunky Érard piano employed by Jos van Immerseel in Piau's previous offering of Debussy: Mélodies.

Handel conceived his operas in an environment of intense competition, its aura being so all pervasive that two of Handel's Italian sopranos (who were themselves celebrities), Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni, got into an obscenity-screaming and hair-pulling match on-stage during a benefit concert. These days, Piau isn't much better off herself, as her entry will have to compete in a market already graced by such talents as Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Sarah Connolly, Renée Fleming, and Emma Kirkby. In such company, how well does Piau fare? Not badly, really -- Piau's voice is incredibly powerful, loud, and clear and she has an uncanny ability to execute Handel's elaborate vocal passagework with seemingly little difficulty, even at fast speeds. In slower music, it becomes apparent that Piau comes up a bit short in terms of expressiveness, and she has the tendency to be a little loud in passages where a lighter touch would have been more appropriate.

Nonetheless, Les Talens Lyriques sounds terrific in all of the music, and most of the singing is of above-average quality even if it seems emotionally a tad cold here and there. Naive's recording is well balanced and immediate, and if one is inclined toward the voice of Sandrine Piau in the first place, one will love Handel: Opera Seria, as it is everything that it should be.


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