Jennifer Larmore

Where Shall I Fly

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Jennifer Larmore's performances of Mozart and Handel rank among her finest achievements, and Where Shall I Fly? shows this performer and both composers to good advantage. Recorded in 1994, the CD includes some of the most celebrated arias in the mezzo soprano's repertoire and many discoveries. Mozart dominates the program, with seven selections to Handel's five, but Larmore's choices do not reflect favoritism so much as a sense of which numbers best display her range and complement each other. Familiar Mozart arias -- "Voi che sapete" from Le nozze di Figaro and "Smanie implacabili" from Così fan tutte -- are here, though Larmore acquaints the listener with several less obvious selections. "Gia dagli occhi" from Mitridate and "Va pure ad altri in braccio" from La finta giardiniera are both wonderful arias deserving repeated listening. Similarly, most of the Handel offerings are obscure, but they give an idea of Larmore's versatility. The attractive aria "Dopo notte" from Ariodante is contrasted with the tense drama of "Hence, Iris, hence away," from Semele, and followed by the tragic "Cara sposa" from Rinaldo. But the collection would not be complete without "Ombra mai fu" from Handel's Xerxes, an affecting aria that is greatly enhanced by Larmore's rich, expressive voice.

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