On the CD which comes with this, the first volume of ‘100% Gypsy Guitar’, each piece of music is recorded twice : first guitar with a backing band, second with just the band (playback) for you to practise with.All the things you are - Caravan - Djan - How high the moon - I got rhythm - Lady be good - Les feuilles mortes - Les yeux noirs - Minor blues - Swing gitan
To mark the 250th anniversary of Handel's death, Vienna's Theater an der Wien realized a truly extraordinary project: the staging of Messiah, the composer's most popular oratorio. Collaborating with an exquisite cast of singers, Claus Guth, one of today's highly renowned stage directors, delivered 'an emotionally and psychologically charged sequence of images. . . The audience was thrilled' (Süddeutsche Zeitung).
Philippe Jaroussky's countertenor is not a large instrument, but what an instrument! He sings with flawless intonation; a tone that is sweet, pure, even, and focused over the full extent of his wide range; and a breathtaking command of coloratura technique. The impression that his voice is perhaps more elfin than heroic seems of minor consequence in light of its beauty, and the expressive intelligence and musicality he brings to these characters from Vivaldi operas. In spite of the bravado of the album's title, Vivaldi Heroes, many of the arias are exquisitely tender, showcasing Jaroussky's strengths in bringing out the characters' humanity and vulnerability. Any number of arias could be singled out, but "Vedro con mio diletto," from Guistino, is a standout. Matheus Ensemble, led by violinist Jean-Christophe Spinosi, is a full partner in its sensitivity and musicality and offers nuanced and colorful support. The CD also serves as a showcase for Vivaldi's versatility as an orchestrator, and for the variety and expressiveness of his vocal writing, and it should dispel any stereotypes of the composer as predictable and formulaic. The sound is warm and clear, and the balance between the voice and ensemble is ideal.(Stephen Eddins)
Antonio Vivaldi's probably early Nisi Dominus, RV 608, and Stabat Mater, RV 621, both for solo voice and ensemble, have received several top-notch recordings, so the listener can pick on the basis of voice type and stylistic preference. Countertenor David Daniels has essayed the pair with Fabio Biondi and his Europa Galante ensemble, and you can hear the preternaturally rich contralto Sara Mingardo in a reading with the fiery Italian Baroque specialist Rinaldo Alessandrini. Here you get a countertenor, Philippe Jaroussky, in the Nisi Dominus and a female contralto, Canadian Marie-Nicole Lemieux, in the Stabat Mater. The pairing robs the whole of unity at one level, but makes musical sense; the Nisi Dominus is a more athletic work that benefits from the power of the male voice, while the Stabat Mater, especially in Vivaldi's truncated and highly dramatic setting, may require the audience to identify with a female singer. In the event, Jaroussky is nothing short of sublime in slow sections like the "Cum dederit" (track 4), a masterpiece of quiet tension whose effects are amplified by the extreme, almost respiratory sensitivity of the Ensemble Matheus under director Jean-Christophe Spinosi. Hardly less effective is Lemieux, with an extremely emotional reading in which she seems to mean every word. A bonus on this disc not present on the others is a little Crucifixus from the Credo in G major, RV 592, featuring both singers and well placed in the middle of the program. Superb examples of Baroque vocal art all around, with sound that captures the subtlety and the full dynamic range of the music, which at times gets very hushed indeed.(James Manheim)