Philippe Jaroussky continues to rediscover long-forgotten arias for high male voice with this collection of music by Antonio Caldara, a contemporary of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, and the first composer to set many librettos by the great Metastasio and Zeno. This is Jaroussky’s eighth solo album for Virgin Classics and his second recital to be conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm.
With this new album, Jaroussky revives a number of forgotten works by the Venetian-born Antonio Caldara, who made his career in Mantua, Barcelona, Rome and, finally, Vienna. All the arias – several recorded for the very first time – come from operas with librettos by Metastasio (1698 –1782), whose noble texts defined the genre of opera seria.
Jaroussky’s recording of La dolce fiamma, prompted The Guardian to affirm that “You can’t help but be seduced by the passion and range of Jaroussky’s singing, which embraces everything from perfect coloratura to rapt introversion.” While in the countertenor’s native France – where he won his third award in the high-profile annual Victoires de la Musique in 2010 – The Diapason asked: “Can Philippe Jaroussky’s talent be praised any further? … His indomitable technique enables him to tackle the wildest vocalises, but also, thanks to his cultivated legato, to caress sinuous melodic curves. His even, wide-ranging voice charms from the first moment. There’s a touch of mystery, great gentleness, subtlety and sweetness – and the magic of singing does the rest.”