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“Haïm and Dessay are equal partners in two of Handel's Italian cantatas.”
“Handel created his cantata Il delirio amoroso while in Rome in early 1707. Its text was written by Cardinal Benedetto Pamphili. The unusual inclusion of some dance movements suggests that it might have been presented in a simple sort of staging. Emmanuelle Haïm directs a performance that is relaxed and breezy, although Le Concert d'Astrée – featuring two harpsichords and two lutes – is bigger than some orchestras used on recent Baroque opera recordings. There are lovely contributions from oboist Patrick Beaugiraud, and the violinist Stéphanie-Marie Degand provides finely executed solos during the first aria, 'Un pensiero voli in ciel'. Natalie Dessay's coloratura is honey-toned and sweet. While amiable and technically impressive, proceedings are curiously superficial. There is emotional depth in this cantata that the resolutely frothy approach fails to reach. Dessay does not convey the ramblings of 'delirious love', unlike Ann Murray's poetic interpretation with Harry Christophers (Coro). The lush beauty of Dessay's impressive tuning, clear timbre and fine technique is beyond doubt in the aria 'Qui l'augel da pianta' from the Naples serenata Aci, Galatea e Polifemo. Haïm chooses a bizarrely slow tempo whereby Handel's 6/8 becomes a very lethargic 3/4. Not much of Handel's vocal part is left intact during repeats, when Dessay and Haïm carry out some brutally overelaborate re-composition. Dessay plucks out stratospheric notes at every opportunity, but there is more that could and should have been said in accordance to the parameters of Handel's notation. Nice though this disc is, it brings little depth or substance to Handel's music.”
“Emmanuelle Haïm and Natalie Dessay are very much equal partners in two of Handel's Italian cantatas which display the virtuosity of solo instrumentalists every bit as much as that of the human voice.”
“…Emmanuelle Haïm directs a performance that is relaxed and breezy… There are lovely contributions from oboist Patrick Beaugiraud, and the violinist Stéphanie-Marie Degand provides finely executed solos during the first aria, 'Un pensiero voli in ciel'. Natalie Dessay's coloratura is honey-touched and sweet.”
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