Johann Christian Bach, La dolce fiamma, P. Jaroussky, Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, J. Rhorer
(released on January 12, 2010)
Virgin 5099969456404 | 63'08"
J. Chr. Bach, Johann Sebastian's globe-trotting son who worked in Italy, Paris, and most famously London, is a vastly underrated composer, both for his instrumental works and especially for his operas, which are just now becoming known again (Christophe Rousset mounted Temistocle a few years ago). Jaroussky claims a long-held admiration for Bach and certainly makes a case for reviving the composer's operas, late examples of a dying genre, opera seria, when they were written. He sings these excerpts, written both during Bach's time in Italy and in London, with an admirable sense of melodic line and an always beautiful tone and daring embellishments, if not always clear and idiomatic Italian. Jérémie Rhorer keeps his period instrument group, Le Cercle de l'Harmonie, on the controlled and soft side, to accommodate the size of Jaroussky's voice, with fortepiano appropriately replacing the harpsichord in the two concert arias that are included. Recommended both for musical beauty and the interest of hearing this neglected composer's works.