Handel, Sandrine Piau - Sandrine Piau

Published Sunday 9th February 2014
Handel, Sandrine Piau - Sandrine Piau
Handel, Sandrine Piau  - Sandrine Piau

STYLE: Classical
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Naive

This product is currently not available from Cross Rhythms Direct

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Careful readers of this website will have noticed that the French soprano Sandrine Piau has appeared as a featured soloist on several discs but this is the first time she has come to our attention in her own right. This is one of a series of releases to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the French label Naive where two old CDs are bundled together in a slip-case and sold at half the price of a regular album release, meaning that even if you already have one of the pair it is still a good buy, always assuming that the originals were worth hearing. In this case there is no doubt whatsoever. Sandrine sings beautifully and so long as you enjoy Handel's soprano pieces there is nothing not to like. Taking the two chronologically, we start with 2008's collection of Handel duets with contralto Sara Mingardo with Rinaldo Alessandrini's Concerto Italiano. The repertoire takes us into Handel's secular operas and for those of us who tend to think only of 'Messiah' and his other Biblical oratorios it is a most interesting exploration. Handel was nothing if not prolific. From 2009 we get 'Between Heaven And Earth' with Stefano Montanari's Accademia Bizantina which leaves Mme Piau to carry the vocal load on her own although she does have a moment to get her breath back in the instrumental symphony from 'Solomon', "The Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba". There are many highlights including the well known "Rejoice Greatly" from 'Messiah', and "Let the Bright Seraphim" from 'Samson' as well as some pleasant surprises such as "Prophetic Raptures Swell My Breast" from 'Joseph And His Brothers'. Whether you are looking for a good introduction to Handel's compositions for sopranos or want to become better acquainted with an exceptional voice this budget-priced re-issue is highly recommended.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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