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Nicolò Balducci – Amore Dolore (FLAC)

Nicolò Balducci - Amore Dolore (FLAC)

Nicolò Balducci – Amore Dolore (FLAC)

Composer: Riccardo Broschi, Egidio Romualdo Duni, George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi
Performer: Nicolò Balducci
Orchestra: Baroque Academy Gothenburg Symphony
Conductor: Dan Laurin
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: BIS
Catalogue: BIS2645
Release: 2023
Size: 331 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. Broschi: Son qual nave ch’agitata
02. Duni: Misero Pargoletto (from Demofoonte)
03. Duni: Sperai vicino il lido
04. Handel: Giulio Cesare : Overture
05. Handel: Lascia ch’io pianga (from Rinaldo)
06. Handel: Ombra mai fu (from Serse)
07. Handel: Crude furie degli orridi abissi (from Serse)
08. Vivaldi: Gelido in ogni vena (from Il Farnace, RV711)
09. Vivaldi: Nel profondo from Orlando Furioso
10. Vivaldi: Sol da te, mio dolce amore (from Orlando furioso)

Vivaldi: Orlando Furioso Overture
11. I. Allegro
12. II. Andante
13. III. Allegro

14. Vivaldi: Sento in seno (from Il Giustino)

“For his second recital album for BIS, countertenor and sopranist Nicolò Balducci, ‘a singer of a remarkably sweet sound and distinct vocal agility’ (Gramophone), presents arias that evoke love and pain, two basic ingredients of Italian opera in the 18th century. Often tailor-made for specific singers who were in some cases the foremost castrati from that era such as the legendary Farinelli, these arias expressed resolute valour, unbridled fury and sometimes extreme guilt, to the delight of audiences that enjoyed these operas with their far-fetched narratives inspired by mythology or historical events. For this album, Nicolò Balducci is accompanied by the Baroque Academy Gothenburg Symphony under the direction of renowned recorder player Dan Laurin. Together, they perform well-known arias by Handel, from Vivaldi’s long neglected operas, as well as by lesser-known composers such as Riccardo Broschi (Farinelli’s brother) and Egidio Duni.”

The musical world is crawling with young countertenors hoping to inherit the crowns of Jaroussky and Scholl. Nicolò Balducci, who, with Amore Dolore, releases his second album, stands out from the crowd, and here, he has picked material that showcases his voice and style to maximum advantage. There are several attractive features to this album. Except for a few Handel hits, the material is fresh, with compositions by Riccardo Broschi (brother of Carlo Broschi, otherwise known as Farinelli) and Egidio Romualdo Duni, plus some not-overly-familiar Vivaldi arias. The orchestral work by the Baroque Academy Gothenburg Symphony is exceptionally lively; the orchestra is directed by Dan Laurin, better known as a recorder virtuoso and stepping into that role as well (hear Vivaldi’s “Sol da te, mio dolce amore,” from Orlando Furioso). However, the main attraction is Balducci himself. There are more powerful countertenors out there and more purely beautiful ones, but there are very few who offer a feeling of spontaneity that must have been part of the draw of Farinelli and other castrati who sang this music in the first place. Balducci likes to open phrases on the no-vibrato edge, getting one’s attention by extending it past where it is comfortable and then letting the voice bloom luxuriantly. He has a repertory of vocal flair, little yips and whoops that he adds to the notated line. He pays attention to the text, which quite a number of self-absorbed countertenors simply do not do, and he is plenty agile when he needs to be; sample Vivaldi’s “Nel profondo cieco mondo,” also from Orlando Furioso, as Balducci descends into and rises out of the startling depths. He has picked material here that serves him ideally, and the results are compelling indeed, with an over-resonant church acoustic one of the few complaints. This is a countertenor to watch.

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