August 18, 2017

Carnevale 1729 is BBC Music’s Recording of the Month

“This performance brings us music never heard before, executed with a rare intensity.”

We are proud to share with you that our release of Carnevale 1729 performed by Ann Hallenberg, Stefano Montanari , il pomo d’oro is BBC Music Magazine‘s Recording of the Month! The Carnival of Venice in 1729 was quite unlike any other.Several of the most fashionable composers rose to the occasion, writing ravishing music for spectacular productions which often pitted the singers against each other in breathtaking displays of virtuosity. Read a passage of the review below.

Such is the context of the brilliant programme put together by mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg. All but one of her arias here are world premiere recordings – and indeed the operas of Leo, Orlandini, Albinoni and Giacomelli may appear dull at first glance. Realised properly, however, this music is electrifying: with period practice, hair’s breadth subtlety and the courage to radically alter source material, Hallenberg, Il Pomo d’Oro and Stefano Montanari effect the transformation. For example, the simplicity of Orlandini’s pathos-laden ‘Vedró piú liete belle’ deliberately puts voice before composer. Hallenberg draws us in when she seamlessly re-mixes her timbre, when her straight tone yields to vibrato, when she changes a tune heard seconds earlier. In bravura arias, virtuosity must serve expression, and in this art Hallenberg has no equal: from volleys of notes she crafts considered statements. She can colour her instrument, even within a few bars, to sharpen her dramatic point. In re-inventing Senesino’s whispered pathos, or Faustina’s heated protests, Hallenberg shows us why Baroque opera stars were idolised.

Berta Joncus

Read the full review on BBC Music Magazine – September 2017 issue