Argentine countertenor Franco Fagioli first came to wide public attention when he won the 2003 International Singing Contest Neue Stimmen and recorded his first solo album the same year. In this 2010 release, Canzone e Cantate, Fagioli displays an even more secure technique and a broader expressive range. His voice has darkened (in contrast to the prevailing trend for light tone exemplified by countertenors like Philippe Jaroussky) and expanded its tonal colors. His use of vibrato is freer than is typical for this repertoire, giving his voice an almost bel canto bravura quality in the more dramatic arias, which listeners, depending on their tastes, may or may not find appealing, but it is certainly striking. Fagioli has chosen a diverse program ranging from early Baroque songs by Frescobaldi, Monteverdi, and Benedetto Ferrari to solo cantatas by Handel and Vivaldi and a late 18th century aria by Paisiello. He is joined very capably by lutenist Luca Pianca, cellist Marco Frezzato, and harpsichordist Jörg Halubek. The album feels more like a collaborative venture than a traditional solo recital with accompaniment and includes a harpsichord prelude by Handel, an anonymous courante for lute, and a trio sonata by Geminiani. This expressive repertoire offers ample opportunities for each performer's individuality to shine, and the results are delightful. Carus' sound is clean, detailed, and warmly intimate.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins
|Aure soavi e lieti, HWV 84|
|Suite for keyboard in G major, HWV 442|
|Pianti, sospiri a dimandar mercede, RV 676|
|Sonate für Violoncello und Bc in a-Moll, Op. 5 (6)|
|Dolc'è pur d'amor l'affanno, HWV 109|