Jennifer Larmore

Amore Per Rossini

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Amore per Rossini is much more than a collection of arias selected merely to showcase Jennifer Larmore's magnificent voice. Whole scenes are presented here, and the operatic context heightens the impact of her dramatic vocal part. Rossini's writing for mezzo soprano covers an exceptionally wide range, and Larmore takes full advantage of the extreme tessituras in shaping her interpretations. Whether portraying a courageous or tragic figure, Larmore characterizes each role differently according to the style suggested by the music's details. Melismas and roulades abound in the part of the heroic Clarice of La pietra del paragone and in that of Falliero, and Larmore gives her ornaments and scales a bright and joyous tone. Her flexibility in coloratura passages is made possible by the solid breath support she maintains, and clear, distinctly separated notes are sung without a trace of sliding. In the darker roles of Pamyra in Le siège de Corinthe and Desdemona in Otello, Larmore's rich contralto carries the weight of grief and suffering most effectively. The English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Giuliano Carella, provides a varied accompaniment, martial and amusing in the lighter numbers, but serene and transparent in the semiseria selections. The disc's sound is excellent.

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