Today, it is difficult to imagine a world without the music of Handel. His operas, however, were already looked over even in the composer’s lifetime. Virtuosic and bristling with difficulties, his multithreaded works in the Neapolitan style quickly went out of fashion, and over time they have been almost completely forgotten. Only the twentieth century cracked open the doors to this extraordinary music, whetted the appetites of music lovers with performances of the most daring arias. There is nothing surprising in this- Handel’s sense of opera was incomparable, as evidenced by not only the ease of writing subsequent stage works, but also an exceptional talent for portraying human emotions with music. What we find so attractive in the music of Handel is the powerful emotional charge, making it timeless. What are actually the most successful arias from his operas, if not the musical essence of various shades of infatuation, hatred, despair or joy? Even though characters of the tacks mentioned in this recording come from distant times and spaces, their feelings still resonate with contemporary listeners, allowing a deeper insight into the full mysterious dynamics of love. These arias are performed by Natalia Kawalek and Jakub Jozef Orlinski, two young opera stars.
This recording announces exciting new talents on several fronts. First is that of countertenor Jakub Józef Orlinski, a colorful, expressive singer endowed with plenty of power. Also to be noted is the spectacular Natalia Kawalek, who’s classed as a mezzo-soprano but runs the whole gamut from a low growl to light agility at the top, in many pieces that would generally be considered soprano arias. Complaints? Poorly edited translations in the booklet.
– All Music Guide (James Manheim)
It is the nuanced singing of countertenor Jakub Józef Orlinski that is fully to the fore in a recital partnered with mezzo-soprano Natalia Kawalek and their Polish compatriots Il Giardino d’Amore. Orlinski’s intuitive phrasing, sweet precision and sense of dramatic moods are consistently appealing.
Composer: George Frideric Handel
Conductor: Stefan Plewniak
Orchestra/Ensemble: Il Giardino d'Amore
Performer: Jakub Józef Orlinski, Natalia Kawalek
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