Passion Jaroussky marks 20 years since Philippe Jaroussky made his professional debut and commenced his rapid ascent to stardom. As the French countertenor says, “Even after all these years, my passion for music is undimmed.” Ranging musically from the 16th to the 21st century, the triple album comprises both new recordings and highlights from recent albums, and it also showcases Jaroussky’s collaborations with a host of major singers – from the worlds of both classical music and pop – instrumentalists, conductors and orchestras.
This collection of 18th century harpsichord music brings together works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Jacques Duphly, Francois Couperin, Jean-Philippe Rameau, George Frederic Handel, Louis-Claude Daquin, and Guiseppe Domenico Scarlatti. The pieces go together nicely, not least because of the way in which Sophie Yates plays them.
The present richly enjoyable CD contains five trios by Johann Gottlieb and Carl Heinrich. In some areas of the brothers’ work it is near enough impossible to know who wrote what with any certainty – as Grove puts it “problems of attribution, chronology and biographical detail remain”. Manuscript attributions usually refer simply to ‘Graun’.
The first thing to stress is that one should not be put off by such problems – the music is delightful and inventive. This issue from CPO benefits from some scholarly notes by Ludger Rémy, who points out the complexities of the manuscript tradition where these works are concerned. These performances are based on manuscript copies (none of them in the composer(s) own hand) preserved in the State and University Library of Saxony, in Dresden.
Arthaus presents the Vienna State Opera’s outstandingly cast new production of Werther on DVD. The production was the Vienna State Opera debut for the young Swiss conductor Philippe Jordan – the Argentinian tenor Marcelo Álvarez, took the title role. Although he had already secured an international reputation through his performances in leading opera houses all over the world, this was his first appearance in the premiere of a production in Vienna. His Charlotte, on this occasion the young Latvian mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča, joined the Vienna State Opera in 2003.
Sophie Yates began her career by winning the international Erwin Bodky Competition at the Boston Early Music Festival, and as a result she was invited to tour and broadcast throughout the eastern states of America. She now performs regularly around Europe, the United States and Japan, and has also worked in Syria, Morocco and Western Australia. Known for her affinity with the French baroque, the music of the Iberian Peninsula and English virginals music, she has performed on most of the playable virginals surviving in Britain and is working on a long-term project to collect a book of contemporary English pieces for this instrument.