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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Handel Arias'
Artist - Franco Fagioli

For those not in the know, Franco Fagioli is an Argentinian operatic countertenor. Born in Argentina, Fagioli initially studied piano and then singing at the Superior Art Institute of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

He began his international career in 2003, when he won the Bertelsmann singing competition ‘Neue Stimmen’ in Gütersloh, Germany.

Franco Fagioli has since made regular appearances at opera houses in Buenos Aires, Karlsruhe, Bonn, Zurich, Essen and Genoa, at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. He has also been invited to perform at a number of festivals, including those in Halle, Ludwigsburg, Innsbruck and Froville.

He has worked with conductors like Rinaldo Alessandrini, Alan Curtis, Gabriel Garrido, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, René Jacobs, José Manuel Quintana, Marc Minkowski, Riccardo Muti and Christophe Rousset.

His sixth solo works album (and his second album as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist) is entitled Handel Arias and has just been released via Deutsche Grammophon.

1. Agitato (04:24)
2. Frondi Tenere (00:47)
3. Ombra mai fu (03:24)
4. Crude Furie (03:55)
5. Cara Sposa (08:48)
6. Venti, Turbini (04:06)
7. Se Potessero (06:47)
8. Sento Brillar (06:45)
9. Pompe Vane (02:53)
10. Dove sei (06:19)
11. Se in fiorito (08:40)
12. Scherza Infida (11:13)
13. Dopo Notte (07:28)
14. Ch'io Parta (04:14)

Accompanied by the baroque ensemble Il Pomo d'Oro, this is the album Handel lovers have been waiting for: A handpicked selection of Handel opera arias that Franco Fagioli, one of the most outstanding countertenors in our days has chosen himself.

As for his muse here today, George Frideric Handel was a German, later British, Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well-known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos.

Handel received important training in Halle-upon-Saale and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712; he became a naturalised British subject in 1727. He was strongly influenced both by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and by the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.

As one can instantly tell from just the opening compositions found here on this exquisite new Handel Arias release, Handel is unavoidably linked to Franco’s career and he defiantly brings a unique approach to the composer in this studio recording.

Indeed on Handel Arias, Fagioli performs twelve arias that explore the wide range of affetti musicali that are typical of Baroque operas in general and of Handel’s vocal music in particular.

“Handel is quite simply a must for every countertenor,” Franco himself has been quoted as saying. “Although I’d already sung many of his operas onstage, I hadn’t previously recorded the arias for an entire album.”

A rather stunning tribute to Handel from Fagioloi, Handel Arias is one of those albums that once in your player and coming through your speakers, you just never want to end. Luckily not a short recording either, the album is, for my money, one of Fagioli's best to date.

CD Purchase Link

Franco Fagioli Official Website