Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Handel: Arias and Duets

“There is indeed plenty to enjoy, especially where soprano Karina Gauvin is involved...[Lemieux] is a singer with temperament to burn...But in less overwrought music...I wanted less gusty phrasing, more care from true legato...If this is not quite the Handel recital I was hoping for, it's still worth investigating for Lemieux's viscerally exciting singing and, above all, Gauvin's ideal Handelian mix of grace and profound emotional truth.” --Gramophone Magazine, December 2011

“Bright, edgy woodwind; neat violins; an ever-purposeful bass line; two healthful, smiling voices and some lovely music. There is much to admire...but there is little sense of dramatic context...If you can put that aside, you can relish the pizazz with which Lemieux and Gauvin attack each oratorio character's emotional state...It's a handsome, stylish, polished performance.” --BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 ****

“Gauvin's soprano has a warm timbre that blends beautifully with Lemieux's deep, dusky contralto. Individually, too, they are fabulous - Lemieux's opening 'Destructive war' is a dramatic tour de force. The heart of the disc is the profound, moving duet 'Streams of pleasure'...these polished, beautifully balanced performances are a pleasure to listen to” --Classic FM Magazine, December 2011 ****

“We prize Handel’s stage works for their tragic depth, but there is a gentler, nobler strain that explains the title given to this CD. Uniting two stylish Canadians, one a soprano and the other a contralto, it comprises 15 numbers from the English oratorios Handel wrote late in his career.” --Financial Times, 15th October 2011 ***

“Part of the attraction of [the] blending of voices is that Gauvin's middle tones have a warmth, almost mezzo-ish, which accords well with Lemieux's rich bloom...I am not one who throws accolades around like confetti, but the enjoyment that this CD has provided brings from me an IRR Outstanding recommendation. The disc is entitled 'Streams of Pleasure' but for me it is a full, flowing river.” --International Record Review, November 2011

MP3 320 · 162 MB

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