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Thomas Quasthoff’s great artistry needs no introduction. Here he follows up his much-raised Bach Cantatas recording with another project perfectly suited to his dark-hued, flexible voice. In anticipation of the forthcoming Haydn year – the 200th anniversary of the composer’s death falls in May 2009 – Quasthoff turns his attention to the Viennese master’s considerable operatic output, with an album of arias drawn from both Haydn’s comic and serious operas.
Making its Deutsche Grammophon debut on this album is the Freiburger Barockorchester, the internationally acclaimed period-instrument ensemble which regularly collaborates with Quasthoff and many other leading artists. This is music of the highest calibre. Haydn’s operatic works are a real rarity and with Thomas Quasthoff as their champion this will be one of the most unusual and intriguing albums of the year. It is a must-have for lovers of period-instrument performance, opera and baroque music – as well as for all those touched by Quasthoff’s musicianship.
The album release is timed to tie in with the first of 4 UK appearances which Quastoff will make during 2009 at London’s Barbican Centre.
Franz Joseph Haydn: L'infedeltà delusa / Act 1
"Non v'è rimedio"
Franz Joseph Haydn: Orlando paladino / Act 2
"Mille lampi d'accese faville"
Franz Joseph Haydn: Orlando paladino / Act 3
Franz Joseph Haydn: Armida / Act 1
"Se dal suo braccio oppresso"
Franz Joseph Haydn: Armida / Act 2
"Teco lo guida al campo"
Franz Joseph Haydn: L'isola disabitata - original version / Part 1
"Chi nel cammin d'onore"
Franz Joseph Haydn: La fedeltà premiata / Act 2
"Di questo audace ferro"
Franz Joseph Haydn: La fedeltà premiata / Act 1
"Mi dica, il mio signore"
Franz Joseph Haydn: La fedeltà premiata / Act 2
"Sappi, che la belleza"
Franz Joseph Haydn: L'incontro improvviso / Act 1
"Noi pariamo santarelli"
Franz Joseph Haydn: La vera costanza / Act 1
"Non sparate...mi disdico..."
Franz Joseph Haydn: Il mondo della luna / Act 2
"Che mondo amabile"
"Non aver di me sospetto"
Franz Joseph Haydn: Un cor si tenero / "Il Disertore"
Un cor si tenero / "Il Disertore"
Franz Joseph Haydn: Dice benissimo (aria for Salieri's "La scuola di gelosi")
Dice benissimo (aria for Salieri's "La scuola di gelosi")
Franz Joseph Haydn: L'Anima del Filosofo (Orfeo ed Euridice) - original version / Act 3
Chi spira e non sprea (Creonte)
Franz Joseph Haydn: L'Anima del Filosofo (Orfeo ed Euridice) - original version / Act 1
Il pensier sta negli aggotti (Creonte)
Franz Joseph Haydn: L'Anima del Filosofo (Orfeo ed Euridice) / Act 2
Mai non sia inulto (Creonte)
“…Thomas Quasthoff… puts a great deal into his performances, characterising the texts, especially the jovial or intendedly comic ones, with relish.”
“Quasthoff's performances are vividly imagined and splendidly sung. He characterises each role with relish… Quasthoff's top register - brighter and more tenorish than a decade ago - rings out freely in a mock-heroic number for the foppish braggart Perucchetto in La fedeltà premiata, portrayed to the life by Quasthoff. Quasthoff has done a still-neglected corner of Haydn's output proud, and the rhythmically lively Freiburg period band match him all the way in colour and gusto.”
“'These arias are glorious music that give me more pleasure each time I sing them,' enthuses Thomas Quasthoff of his Haydn anniversary recital encompassing 11 roles from nine operas. Judging the arias by Mozartian standards (unfair, but hard to avoid when the idiom is so similar), we might feel that Haydn's response to character and dramatic situation can occasionally seem too amiably non-committal. Far more often, though, Quasthoff's encomium is well justified, whether in the sharp comic portrayals of assorted dolts, lechers and buffoons, the sepulchral solo for the Stygian ferryman Caronte (Orlando Paladino), or the graceful cantabile arias for Creonte from the London opera L'anima del filosofo. If Haydn's operas are alien territory for you, the range and inventiveness of these arias (plus one duet) may come as a surprise. Quasthoff's performances are vividly imagined and splendidly sung. He characterises each role with relish. As ever, he savours the sound and sense of the words, greedily gobbling up his consonants in the song of the gluttonous monk Calandro (L'incontro improvviso). In serious mode, he brings a gravely eloquent legato to the numbers for Caronte and Creonte, and commands both the height and the depth for the fine, dignified arias from Armida and L'isola disabitata. Once or twice Quasthoff's softer singing sounds unsupported, starved of natural resonance. Nit-pickers might also point to moments where he coarsens his tone in the name of dramatic intensity. But these are minor provisos. Quasthoff has done a still-neglected corner of Haydn's output proud, and the rhythmically lively Freiburg period band match him all the way in colour and gusto.”