Rosso: Italian Baroque Arias,
P. Petibon, Venice Baroque Orchestra, A. Marcon
(released on August 3, 2010)
DG 477 8763 | 75'24"
A recital of assorted opera arias is unlikely to be of much interest to a serious collector, although opera fanatics will surely want to hear this disc. Petibon's sense of drama does carry into the music, as she embellishes her melodic lines with every imaginable elaboration and variation, whispering, growling, soaring to a clear top, and descending to a gravelly bottom. The sense of brilliant dramatic contrast in many ways sums up the aesthetic goals of the Baroque period, and this extravagance, at the service of the emotional punch of each work, is the musical counterpart of the dramatic tenebrism of a painter like Caravaggio. The playing of the Venice Baroque Orchestra is beautifully scaled to these extremes, from a full-bore rhythmic tussle to the gentle accompaniment of lute or therbo. Specialists will also be pleased to read the disc's liner essay, contributed by Philippe Beaussant, the musicologist who founded the Centre de Musique Baroque in Versailles.