2017-04-23, El Mercurio, by Juan Antonio Muñoz
“Nada más sino decir, gracias Philippe Jaroussky.”
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Translation by MEA
There are concerts that surpass musical experience or add something unexpected to it. It happens with great artists where the sudden bloom of beauty comes interlaced in a way that seems magical or divine. This is what happens with Philippe Jaroussky, whose voice demands to be listened to in a different way than the usual, to perceive the emotions contained in the music.
Like the famous Farinelli, who suffered castration and thanks to that maintained his soprano register, Jaroussky’s voice can be described as the “voice of an angel”, of a creature that comes from beyond the limits to spread upon us a sort of a metaphysical purity. Of course, Jaroussky is not castrated: his voice offers “an option”as he himself has said, because “my natural voice is baritone and some baritones can choose this form of emission.”
The fact is that after overcoming the initial impact on the spectator, his voice – uniquely high and crystalline – conquers, appealing not only to the mind but to the soul, while the technique joined to the musicality and huge expressive ability of the interpreter puts the public in a dreamlike state, as if one was not in a real place but in one of an unknown origin.. A kind of otherworldly artifice.
At the Handel recital concert last Friday – marking Jaroussky’s debut in Chile – these characteristics were stressed by the fact that the repertoire was a novelty for us. Of course there were moments of tremendous virtuosity. However, this is not where the art of the countertenor resides but in his intense capacity to show the introspection (what a paradox), to communicate suffering, fear for the departing life and love. It happens in “Stille amare” from Tolomeo , in “Ombra cara di mia sposa” from Radamisto and in the dark interior of “Se potessero i sospir miei” from Imeneo, much more than in the bravura arias of Giustino or in the overflowing coloratura in “Rompo I laccio” from Flavio.
Summing up, the emotive songs – of which Jaroussky is a master – triumphed over the vocal acrobatics, which is ultimately the great triumph of the Baroque, so many times misinterpreted as a product of superficial approaches.
With an impressive breath, Jaroussky is also a model in dynamics and nuances and captivates with his capacity to project the affective atmosphere these works have. Fury, desire, bravery, pain and love alternate with prodigious spontaneity in the discourse of these passionate, epic and virginal heroes. And all this in connection with the wonderful ensemble Le Concert de la Loge, composed of 17 young musicians who master the genre perfectly and connect with the essence of the scores, as shown in the syncopated strains of “Stille amare.” Impeccable in the Concerto Grosso in G Major and Suite One of the Water Music in F Major. For them, this was also a tour de force plus the fact they played standing.
The encores were another moment of glory. “Lascia ch’io pianga”from the opera Rinaldo, “Si, la voglio” from Xerxes, where Jaroussky enacted an exit in character, with great theatrical effect, and the moving and impossible to ignore “Ombra mai fu,” also from Xerxes.
Nothing else left to say except “Thank you, Philippe Jaroussky.”
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