The 5 Countertenors (24/96 FLAC)
The 5 Countertenors (24/96 FLAC)

Performer: Max Emanuel Cencic, Xavier Sabata, Valer Sabadus, Yuriy Mynenko, Vince Yi
Orchestra: Armonia Atenea
Conductor: George Petrou
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Decca
Size: 1.16 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Niccolò Jommelli (1714 – 1774)
Tito Manlio
01. “Spezza lo stral piagato”
Valer Sabadus, Armonia Atenea, George Petrou

Nicolai Porpora (1686 – 1768)
Ifigenia in Aulide
02. “O di spietati numi più spietato ministro! Tu, spietato, non farai cader vittima”
Xavier Sabata, Armonia Atenea, George Petrou

Baldassare Galuppi (1706 – 1785)
Penelope – Act 2
03. “A questa bianca mano”
Max Cencic, Armonia Atenea, George Petrou

George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759)
Serse, HWV 40 – Act 3
04. “Crude furie degl’ orridi abissi”
Yuri Minienko, Armonia Atenea, George Petrou

Josef Myslivecek (1737 – 1781)
Farnace – Act 1
05. “Ti parli in seno amore”
Vince Yi, Armonia Atenea, George Petrou

Johann Christian Bach (1735 – 1782)
Temistocle
06. “Ch’io parta?”
Yuri Minienko, Armonia Atenea, George Petrou

Christoph Willibald von Gluck (1714 – 1787)
Demetrio
07. “Non so frenare il pianto”
Valer Sabadus, Armonia Atenea, George Petrou

Fernandino Bertoni (1725 – 1813)
Tancredi
08. “Addio o miei sospiri”
Max Cencic, Armonia Atenea, George Petrou

George Frideric Handel (1685 – 1759)
Agrippina, HWV 6 – Act 2
09. “Otton, Otton…Voi che udite il mio lamento”
Xavier Sabata, Armonia Atenea, George Petrou

Johann Adolph Hasse (1699 – 1783)
Piramo e Tisbe – Intermezzo tragico
10. “Ah, non è ver, ben mio”
Vince Yi, Armonia Atenea, George Petrou

The title The 5 Countertenors, with definite article, might suggest something similar to The Three Tenors or one of the similar supergroups that have seen commercial success. That’s not what happens here: the five singers represented on the album don’t sing together. Instead, each is allotted a pair of arias from operas that not long ago would have been called obscure, but which these young singers and their teachers have been bringing into general circulation. Consider the startlingly light, high voice of countertenor Vince Yi, who emerged from the music program at the University of Michigan in the American Midwest, the program that also produced David Daniels. Yi is at the opposite end of the voice production spectrum from Romanian Valer Sabadus, heard in works by Jommelli and Gluck. The best-known singer is probably Croatian countertenor (and former Vienna Choir Boy) Max Emanuel Cencic. But really, each of the singers has his own virtues and transmits hope for the continued growth of the countertenor specialty. The historical-instrument group Armonia Atenea under George Petrou is light and flexible, and the sound is clear even in the high-volume highs. Think of this 2015 release not as a self-contained project, but as an advance look at the countertenors coming down the pike, and you’ll really enjoy it.

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