BBC Music Magazine

Giulio Cesare:


A Baroque Hero

Arias by Handel, Bianchi, Piccinni, Giacomelli and Pollarolo

Raffaele Pe (counterten­or),

Raffaella Lupinacci (mezzo-soprano); La Lira di Orfeo/luca Giardini

Glossa GCD 923516 70:47 mins

Raffaele Pe studied in Lodi, London and Bologna, and as a counterten­or he has gained a strong reputation in the last few years in concert and opera performanc­es given by the likes of John Eliot Gardiner, Claudio Cavina and Paul Mccreesh. This is his latest disc and, assisted by the research of the musicologi­st Valentina Anzani, it explores the character of Julius Caesar through selected arias from stage works by several Baroque composers. Additional­ly the collection includes one piece for Ariodante and one duet for Sextus and Cornelia (in which Pe is ably complement­ed by the mezzo Raffaella Lupinacci).

Pe’s voice is strong and cleartoned. ★e shows agility in the long runs of Pollarolo’s ‘Sdegnoso turbine’ and ★andel’s ‘Al lampo’ (notwithsta­nding a slightly unsteady beat in the latter), and his decoration­s of the vocal line are bravely inventive. ★e projects the tender aspects of Caesar’s character well (Piccinni’s ‘Spargi omai’), though the imperious elements (Giacomelli’s ‘Il cor’) require a little more ‘edge’ and fire. The orchestra is spirited but sometimes untidy (Piccinni’s ‘Spargi omai’). Even so, this is a fascinatin­g collection, and Pe engages commendabl­y with such a range of music originally written for so many different voices. Anthony Pryer



 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom