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Arias for Farinelli

The voice of
mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux -
appreciated by MARIA NOCKIN

'... played, sung and recorded with exquisite artistry.'

Arias for Farinelli (c) 2002 harmonia mundi sa

Mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux is fast making a name for herself as a leading exponent of roles originally written for castrati. She has the powerful chest register, the enormous range and the ability to sing accurate coloratura, as well as the slim figure that enables her to be credible in travesty parts. It is a rare combination of talents, especially when it is found in an attractive, personable young woman.

The arias she sings on this disc were all written especially to fit the talents of the Neapolitan castrato, Carlo Broschi (1705-1782), known to the public as 'Farinelli', who studied with Nicolà Antonio Porpora (1686-1768), the composer of three of the arias on this disc.

The first selection, 'Dall'amor più sventurato' [listen -- track 1, 2:53-3:46], from Porpora's Orfeo tells of love's rapture. Genaux sings it radiantly with ringing tones in her middle and lower registers, and she embellishes the melody with coloratura flights of fancy which include delicate, perfectly executed trills.

That aria is followed by a slow and soothing selection from the opera Idaspe by Farinelli's brother, Riccardo Broschi (c1698-1756). Here a faithful shade sings of the peace and consolation that he derives from following his beloved. Genaux expresses these sentiments with excellent diction couched in a completely secure legato and she seasons the repeat sections with refined ornamentation.

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Copyright © 16 October 2002 Maria Nockin, Arizona, USA


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