Baroque Journey

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Handel,JS Bach,Purcell,Stölzel,Vivaldi
LABELS: Warner
WORKS: Arias by Vivaldi, Stölzel, Handel, JS Bach and Purcell
PERFORMER: Sumi Jo (soprano), Axel Everaet (tenor); Concertgebouw CO
CATALOGUE NO: Warner 2564 69824-6

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Sumi Jo’s trawl through some of the hits of the Baroque repertory is something of a departure for a soprano mostly associated with the standard coloratura roles. Her voice sounds clear and fresh and the singing is always technically clean.

The general aim seems to be for efficiency rather than expressivity – Handel’s ‘I know that my redeemer liveth’ is just one item that underlines her lack of detailed commitment to text – but it’s an aim she realises.

The mood of the music sometimes eludes her. ‘Let the bright Seraphim’ is diligent but a bit joyless, though she applies some personality and wit to the aria from Bach’s Coffee Cantata.

It’s odd that she sings the famous tenor aria ‘Where’er you walk’ from Semele when that opera/oratorio includes plenty of soprano arias from which to choose from.

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She’s also joined by Axel Everaet in a duet from Handel’s L’Allegro, though he’s rather workaday.The accompaniments are a bit more than that, and consistently well articulated. The sound is acceptable without being outstanding.