Fête Galante, a 1999 release featuring soprano Karina Gauvin and pianist Marc-André Hamelin, won numerous awards, and the outstanding performances on this 2011 reissue confirm how well-deserved those honors were. Gauvin has an exceptional voice – clarion-bright, warm, confident, and agile, with a variegated palette of colors – and her effortlessly incisive interpretive skills give depth and life to everything she sings. The distinctiveness and character she brings to these songs show a terrific grasp of the genre of the mélodie, from the late 19th century songs by Fauré and the young Debussy to the mid-20th works by Poulenc, Honegger, and Émile Vuillermoz. The CD demonstrates her range with the zany comedy of Poulenc's "Paganini" followed immediately by the intensely poignant multi-layered sadness of the composer's profound "C." Throughout, Gauvin's tone is ravishingly pure and she soars gloriously in the more lyrical songs.
Canadian superstar soprano Karina Gauvin pays tribute to baroque diva Anna Maria Strada del Pò, singing rarities by Vinci, Vivaldi and some of the greatest Handel arie di bravura. Like Strada del Pò in her prime, Miss Gauvin sings this repertoire with powerful expression and brilliant technique, in particular, the trills for which Strada del Pò was renowned. More than thirteen opera roles were created by Handel for Strada del Pò (including Sosarme, Orlando, and Alcina). Strada del Pò’s talent and style may have influenced the composer’s work as much as he contributed to the vocal and dramatic development of the prima donna in the first decades of the 18th century.