Title - 'Vivaldi: Gloria' [Decca Classics]
Artist - Lezhneva/Fagioli/Fasolis
Julia Lezhneva, Franco Fagioli and Diego Fasolis: three stars of the Baroque unite to record Vivaldi’s most popular choral work, here on Gloria.
For those not in the know, Julia Lezhneva is a Russian soprano opera singer and recitalist, specialising in soprano and coloratura mezzo-soprano material of the 18th and early 19th century. She studied with Tamara Cherkasova, Irina Zhurina, Elena Obraztsova, Dennis O'Neill and Yvonne Kenny.
Franco Fagioli is an Argentinian operatic countertenor who has 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.
Lastly, Diego Fasolis is a Swiss classical organist and conductor, the leader of the ensemble I Barrocchisti. He has conducted operas in historically informed performance at major European opera houses and festivals, and has made award-winning recordings.
1 – 12. Gloria in D Major, RV 589
13 - 21. Nisi Dominus, RV608
22 - 25. Nulla in mundo pax sincera, RV630
Julia Lezhneva has been described as possessing the voice of “angelic beauty” (The New York Times), “pure tone” (Opernwelt) and “flawless technique” (The Guardian), and although she hasn't achieved the fame of fellow Russian Anna Netrebko yet, I personally much prefer Julia's voice.
Here she adds the glorious solo motet Nulla in Mundo Pax Sincera and with her voice so ravishing, so pronounced, so perfect, she produces her tones so effortlessly that she surely shows no faults here.
Simply put, Franco Fagioli – “one of today's great vocal technicians” (The Guardian) – gives weight to the coloratura passages and make them even more pronounced. While it comes to the ending high notes and cadenzas, his approach is more conservative, but highly adequate to say the least. On this recording he records the Nisi Dominus with its haunting ‘Cum Dederit’ as if it were being performed for the very first time.
As for Diego Fasolis and I Barocchisti, well, as I'm sure you are all well aware, they are today’s Vivaldi interpreters par excellence. The scholarship is first rate and the performances - one of our most intelligent and exploratory artists - are mightily impressive also; as, again, one might well expect.
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