Just finished listening to that CD of baroque laments by Haïm and company. It’s a series of little pieces for solo voice and chamber accompaniment, with one or two ensembles, performed by a variety of singers with Le Concert d’Astrée It begins and ends with Rolando Villazón, which strikes me as unfair, since if someone is going to get two solo turns, I’d rather it be Jaroussky, or DiDonato, or Lemieux or Gens or Lehtipuu. I have no quarrel in any deep way with Rolando Villazón. I am merely pointing out that even within the constraints of this particular recording there are other options.
(Previous section here.)
I have heard this opera only once or twice before, and there aren’t any specific sections of it that I found completely gripping – just little things, now and then. There’s a little section with flautinos in the beginning of Act I that manages to be sweet and not ear-splitting, and some charming dance music here and there. ‘Pretty’ was the word I kept writing down while I was listening to it. Maria Bayo, for example, consistently sounds very pretty, and the singing is as expressive as I suspect it gets for this role. Here’s Calisto’s Act III aria in which she remembers her tender moments with “Diana” (a.k.a Zeus):