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April 20, 2017

Phillippe Jaroussky: critic review

by Lauro Gomes


Rio de Janeiro - Dell'Arte, the remarkable music company directed by Myrian Dauelsberg in Rio could not have done better, when choosing Phillippe Jaroussky to start its 2017 season. In the concert performed in April 19 at Rio Municipal Theater, there were unforgettable moments of elegance and emotions that succeeded, astonishing the audience with the refinement and technique of the french countertenor.

"A sound closer to the sky," one say about the countertenor art. Jaroussky (photo right) has special preference for perverse protagonists that demand a devilish virtuosity, than angelic roles. It's amazing how much he has sung already. In addition to a dozen solo albums, he collaborated on five opera recordings and nine arias albums, snatching almost every record award.

Jaroussky's voice has an extraterrestrial beauty, reaching perfection in his execution style, in his safety, breathing and breath. Each performance of the French countertenor was a celebration. It was delirious, moving and unforgettable. Those who attended the concert, left the Municipal Theater blessed.

Georg Friedrich Händel was born in Halle an der Saale, Germany, on February 23, 1685. He began his musical career in Hamburg as a violinist and later conductor of the local opera. He left for England and in 1726, became a British Citizen, serving King George I. He had great facility to compose, as proof his vast production, which comprises more than 600 works, many of them of great proportions, among them dozens of operas , oratorios and instrumental music. His fame in life was enormous both as a composer and as an instrumentalist, and more than once was called "divine" by his contemporaries. His music became known in many parts of the world, was of particular importance to the formation of modern British musical culture, and since the mid-twentieth century has been regained with growing interest.

In January 2015, violinist Julien Chauvin founded a new set of instruments with the goal of reviving a famous eighteenth-century orchestra at the Olympique Concert de la Loge, founded in 1783. Most of his musicians were Freemasons. Today Le Concert de la Loge accompanies Philippe Jaroussky on his triumphant artistic journey around the world.

The concert, entirely devoted to Händel's works, began with the opening of Radamisto, the composer's first opera, to the Royal Academy of Music in 1720.

Next we had the opera "Flavio Re de'Longobardi", composed in 1723, the 4th scene of the 1st act: the recitative "Son pur felice" and the aria "Bel pleased". Striking presence of Jaroussky, moments of happiness and joy, with instants of pure ecstasy, difficulties and dexterity.

It followed from the opera "Siroe, Re di Persia", 12th composition for the Academy, premiered in 1728, with 7 representations: "Son stanco" recitative and "Deggio morire oh stelle!" - Philippe expresses the disappointments of the hero. I am weary of unrighteous deities. The stars are witnesses of their desire to die ...Melancholy, extreme skill and the serenity of an intense talent.

Soon after, the Concert of La Loge, gave us an exquisite version of the Concerto Grosso op. 6 nº 1 in Sol Maior, by Händel. The most famous of the series. A rhythmic opening adage followed by vibrant joy. Another adage of Italian flavor and two more brief cheerful movements.

Jaroussky returns to sing of the opera "Imeneo" - "Se potessero i sospir miei" - if his cries could end his sufferings. Sore moments and ease of vocalization. Händel began to write this opera in September of 1738 and only finished in 1740. Imeneo is the god of the celebration of the marriages.

The countertenor then showed all his dramatic work with the recitative "Vieni d'empietà" and the aria "Vile, se mi dai morte", from the opera "Radamisto". Resistance and toughness. What a colossal effort, skill and art. A triumph that ended the first part of the program.

In the second part, Jaroussky sang the recitative "Che mi chiama alla gloria" and the aria "Se parla nel mio cor", from the opera "Giustino", premiered on February 16, 1737, at the Covent Garden Theater in London. Moments of splendor and euphoria. Vocalizes electrifying and firm. Great performance.

And the program was in an emotional and strong growing. Two moments of the opera "Ptolemy, Re d'Egitto", which was the 13th and last opera composed for the Royal Academy. It premiered on April 30, 1728, at the King Theater in London and had 7 performances. "Inumano fratel", recitative and "Stille amare", aria. Philippe seemed to be at the edge of his art. What a rush, what voracity. Sublime and fantastic.

Again the presence of Le Concerto de la Loge, with Water Music, excerpts. In the original, it is integrated by 3 suites in  total of 20 movements, almost all of dances. Composed in 1717 to accompany a feast of King George I on the River Thames. Another flawless performance of the orchestra. Cheerful and country, with a unique freshness. Bravos for the musicians.

And again an intense and intimate Jaroussky appears in a masterly interpretation of the aria "Ombra cara", of the opera "Radamisto". A song in praise the soul of the dead wife. Sad and solemn, moments of reflection and slow agony. Superb the presence of the singer. Commotion in the audience. A lesson in bel canto.

Closing the program two more moments of the opera "Flavio, Re de'Longobardi" - The recitative "Privarmi ancora!" and the aria "Rompo i lacci" - ("Still depriving myself" and "I break the bonds"). Despair and revolt. Philippe Jaroussky, with dismay and fury, gave a demonstration of what talent and obstinacy they achieve. The public stood, applauded in the fullness that human warmth enshrines. Bravos to the singer who knows how to value his immense art and who responded to the appeals of the audience, sang in the three extras the famous arias - "Lascia ch'io pianga", opera Rinaldo, and "Si, la voglio e la ottero", and "Ombra mai fù", both of the opera Xerxes.

Unspeakable moments. Eternal memories for all who had the happiness of watching that concert.

Text: Lauro Gomes (contact)

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