Mareike Morr

Lamenti: Furore e Dolore

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The program for this release by German mezzo-soprano Mareike Morr is well conceived, with "laments of fury and sadness" spanning the entire Baroque era from Monteverdi at the beginning to Gluck at the very end. There's a good mix of standards, including Purcell's "When I am laid in earth," Monteverdi's Lamento d'Arianna, and Handel's "Lascia ch'io pianga," from Rinaldo, HWV 60, with unknown arias, including a pair from the seemingly inexhaustible Vivaldi well. Morr's modest-sized soprano has an attractive grain, somewhat reminiscent of an English horn, and it's well matched to the small, historically inclined Hannoversche Hofkapelle; you might well prefer a larger ensemble in these arias, which were written for good-sized auditoria, but the one-instrument-per-part idea is beautifully executed, with lovely wind mixtures in Orfeo's aria "Che puro ciel," from Orfeo ed Euridice. The one clinker here is that Morr's voice is of the kind that you'll either like or hate. She understands what she's singing about, in two languages that are not her own, and she has a sense of how to be dramatic on a small scale. But the runs are not composed of individual notes, the trills have an unpleasant edge, and the pitch in general is just a bit too approximate for comfort in pieces that were composed for real vocal stars and have in most cases been taken on by such. Morr may be the kind of singer who makes a better impression in person than on a recording; she's obviously an intelligent interpreter. But sample before buying to ascertain your comfort level with her basic technique.

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