Caccini, Handel, Monteverdi, Pergolesi, Gluck, Bononcini, Giordani, etc
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Arietta
PERFORMER: Inessa Galante (soprano); London Musici/Mark Stephenson
CATALOGUE NO: RRCD 1345
Aside from her established reputation in the east, the Latvian soprano Inessa Galante has already built a substantial international career with widespread acclaim in opera houses throughout Europe. Moreover, this latest compilation of well-known songs and arias promises successfully to broadcast Galante’s exceptional talents to a still wider audience.
Pleasingly ambient recordings and sensitive support from Stephenson and London Musici throughout provide atmospheric backgrounds to each number, highlighting Galante’s robust, intelligently modulated vocalisation and dramatic flair. She articulates Rodelinda’s aria ‘Mio caro bene!’ (Handel) with impressive athleticism, illustrates Arianna’s poignant lament, ‘Lasciatemi morire’ (Monteverdi), with dark-hued shades and persuasively communicates Alcina’s seductive efforts to recapture Ruggiero’s affections in ‘Tornami a vagheggiar’ (Handel).
However, the instrumental arrangements are occasionally rather indulgent for my taste. For instance, notwithstanding the rich tonal allure of both Galante’s singing and the orchestra’s playing, I would have preferred a lighter touch in Caccini’s ‘Amarilli mia bella’ and Handel’s ‘Ombra mai fù’. Elsewhere, as in Ciampi’s ‘Tre giorni son che Nina’ and Bononcini’s ‘Per la gloria d’adoravi’, the balance between means and expression is more satisfying.
Ultimately, though, Galante’s unashamedly romantic rendering of Caccini’s ‘Ave Maria’ will make this attractive disc a popular choice. Nicholas Rast