Lamenti – Le Concert d`Astrée

I received this beautiful, luscious album for my birthday recently and it has blown me away! “Lamenti” performed by many of today’s greatest opera singers and Le Concert d`Astrée under the direction of harpsichordist Emmanuelle Haim is a moving compilation of various works of Baroque.

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I have been a big fan of Philippe Jaroussky‘s albums since I heard him at the Barbican a few years ago (where I then met him). This album includes a performance by Jaroussky but also by some of my other favourite singers including Rolando Villazón, Natalie Dessay, Joyce DiDonato, Veronique Gens and Patrizia Ciofi.

This album, which was made in 2008, has 11 tracks from Late Renaissance/Baroque masters such as Strozzi, Monteverdi, Cavalli, Landi, and Cesti. Patrizia Ciofi (who was so memorable in Donizetti’s La Fille du Regiment) reduced me to tears in her performance of “Lamento di Maria Stuarda” by Carissimi. What an amazing range she has!

The cover artwork is perfect, in my opinion, as it focuses on a young man’s sensuous full lips. As Baroque artwork and music is sensuous in itself, I found this artwork quite fitting for the album.

The performances are full of passion, drama and are technically perfect, I’d say, in pitch, timbre and resonance – this is an amazing, must-have album for any Baroque music lover!

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