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Music Review: Jaroussky wows with Caldara in Vienna

Philippe Jaroussky.jpg

Philippe Jaroussky, one of the foremost countertenor opera singers today, has a passion for enlightening the world with music of neglected composers.  Antonio Caldara left over 3,000 works but is still relatively unknown, which is why Jaroussky chose to expertly perform some beautiful arias.

Jaroussky is an incredible performer and is engaging with his technique and emotion, and those qualities shine through in all of the pieces.  His concentration and ability to compromise with the Concerto Köln makes the pieces musical and exciting.  Jaroussky states that "immersing myself in [Caldara’s] operas proved a fascinating and a very stimulating experience."  Stimulating indeed!  Philippe Jaroussky has the talent to take the opera-loving-world by storm with his beautiful countertenor voice. 

Choosing Caldara to preform may be a risky choice for other talented soloists, but Jaroussky has made his passion known for finding unknown composers.  Caldara was most likely born in Venice in 1671 to a musical family where he learned violin and theorbo (lute), and began composing.  His first opera, L’Argene was preformed when he was eighteen and he continued to compose and become an international success in the years following. 

Caldara combined the Italian melody with the German style of counterpoint to come to conclusions that his peers could not.  Most of his works survived throughout the ages and though his is not as well known today, there are many selections available to perform.  Scholars are able to get the full spectrum of Caldara’s works; it is obvious that he influenced European music and opera.

In the same way, Philippe Jaroussky is continuing to influence the same sphere.  A native Frenchmen, Jaroussky has made a name for himself in European opera, and brought about the names of other excellent operatic composers.  The combination of the excellent colors that Caldara inserts into the rigid baroque style and Jaroussky’s virtuosity makes this recording one that will never be matched.