2013-09-24 featured press

Paris Match – Philippe Jaroussky, une voix au sommet

2013-09-24, Paris Match, by Philippe Noisette

« Farinelli s’est produit quinze ans sur les scènes puis s’est mis au service du roi d’Espagne. Il chantait pour soigner la mélancolie du monarque. Quel destin ! » Philippe Jaroussky parle encore de bête vocale : en est-il une, lui aussi ? « Se comparer à une légende est toujours un risque. Il y a un vrai fantasme par rapport à ces voix de castrats. Ils passaient 90 % de leur temps à créer des œuvres faites pour leur tessiture. Du sur-mesure. Moi je fais du prêt-à-porter en endossant ces rôles. »

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2015-09-20 featured press

Concerti – Ich warte schon 15 Jahre auf das hohe C – English Translation

2013-09-20, Concerti, by Jakob Buhre

… Johann Sebastian Bach
Ich habe ein bisschen Bach gesungen, als ich jünger war, in den letzten Jahren aber überhaupt nicht mehr. Er gehört zu den Komponisten, die ich mir für die Zukunft vorgenommen habe, allerdings frühestens in zwei Jahren. Erst möchte ich noch mein Deutsch verbessern. Und dann… Wissen Sie, ich habe die Arie aus der Matthäus-Passion gesungen, „Erbarme dich, mein Gott“, aber es ist fürchterlich: Selbst wenn ich mein Bestes gebe, habe ich das Gefühl, dass man der Perfektion dieser Komposition nicht gerecht wird.

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English Translation

Disclaimer: This isn’t a professional translation. We believe that the publication fulfills the criteria of “fair use,” discussion and study. No infringement of copyright is intended. 

“I ‘ve been waiting for the top C for 15 years”

Philippe Jaroussky is one of the most successful countertenors. Here he talks about …

Sense of humour …

Sense of humour is becoming more and more important for me. In many concerts with Christina Pluhar and her ensemble Les Arpeggiata, I have learned that a Classical concert on one hand has to be serious, but on the otherhand that sometimes you can offer something different. At the end of the concert, for example, we turned “Ohimè ch’io cado” by Monteverdi into a kind of jazz version; I danced to it a bit. This creates a different relationship between the artist and the audience . Moreover, in opera , in the libretti, there are incredibly funny things as well. Humour is a part of life , and music should show everything, not just suffering and love.

… the German audience

I know it by the silence, by the high concentration during the entire concert. In France and Spain, people often applaud or call already after the first aria; this almost never happens in Germany. In return, people can be all the more enthusiastic at the end, then they are telling you whether they liked it or not. I remember my first appearance in Germany; I initially thought people didn’t like it – until I heard the final applause.

… his highest note

The two-lined B flat (b flat ‘’). I wish I would manage the C – but that’s probably my fate : I’ve been waiting for 15 years for the C already , but in the meantime I think it is time to see it will not come anymore (laughs ) . Of course I’m always working on my entire vocal range, not only on the high segment. [At a loss for technical terms there in English, please feel free to correct me.] With this, one doesn’t only try to develop the high range to actually sing the high notes, but one works at the extremes to feel more comfortable in the normal range, to be more relaxed at the less difficult parts.

Singing … in women’s costumes

I’ve never done that; I think I would feel uncomfortable about it. Last year we performed the opera Artaserse by Leonardo Vinci, with five countertenors , and I was offered a woman’s role , but I preferred to take over one of the male parts. For me, the countertenor voice has nothing to do with portraying a woman. What’s more, I never try to imitate a woman . I chose this voice , because I can comfortably with it; it just happens to be easier for me this way than as a basso or tenor .

… composing

There was a time when I had a big urge for it, and spent days composing. However, the result was not good enough. And at some point I lacked the time as well. I am of the opinion: If you want to be a composer and want to write something good, then you have to devote your whole life to it. That’s why I have great respect for composers. It gives [me] a certain amount of frustration that nowadays I am only a performing artist, and do not create anything new myself.

… Johann Sebastian Bach

I have sung a little Bach when I was younger, but not anymore at all in the recent years. He is one of the composers that I have plans to work on in the future, but at the earliest in two years’ time. First I would like to improve my German. And then … You know, I have sung the aria from St. Matthew’s Passion , “Erbarme dich, mein Gott” [Have mercy, Lord, on me], but it is dreadful: Even if I give it my best, I’m having the feeling that one doesn’t do the perfection of this composition justice.

… funny viewer reactions to his high voice

It still happens that people are surprised, or react negatively. I try to focus them, sometimes I look at them directly. But you cannot convince everyone. There are always people who are attending a concert because someone invited them. And if someone like this doesn’t like your singing, there is nothing you can do about it. But actually this is what I like about this register. There are many fans of it, but just as many people who think countertenors are a fake, an imitation. And I respect that attitude as well;, it’s a very personal matter, after all, whether you like a voice or not.


2013-09-17 featured press

Mediapart – Philippe Jaroussky de nouveau

2013-09-17, Blogs.mediapart.fr
“Conduire une carrière est difficile et chacun de nous peut citer le nom de tel artiste embourbé dans ses doutes ou bien cerné par un narcissisme excessif. Ici, rien de tout cela. Philippe Jaroussky mène son chemin sans fausses notes. Il es…t sans doute bien accompagné, bien conseillé, bien écouté. C’est à partir de ce constat que le contre ténor a conçu son nouveau disque, hommage au célèbre castrat Farinelli, mais aussi au compositeur qui le découvrit, le forma, le soutint jusqu’à le perdre: Nicola Porpora. Sous la musicologie se devine un message de gratitude, exprimé par le chanteur français à son professeur: Nicole Fallien.
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2013-09-13_02 featured press

Album review: Philippe Jaroussky, Farinelli – Porpora Arias (Erato)

The Independent, 13 September 2013, by Andy Gill

Over string arrangements of a Vivaldian timbre, Jaroussky’s gossamer technique is playfully employed on the likes of “Mira in cielo”, the rapid ornamentation verging at times on laughter; but the more undulating upper-register glide of the sublime “Alto Giove” from Polifemo gives some indication of why Porpora’s 50 operas were once considered the equal of Handel’s.

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2013-09-13 featured press

Inqueery – Farinelli: Schwerelos, nicht abgehoben

2013-09-13, Inqueery, by Felix Grützner

Fazit: Nach einem stürmisch virtuosen Einstieg lädt die CD fern von flacher Effekthascherei ein zu tief empfundenen musikalischen Bildern, allen voran die traumhafte Szene „Alto Giove“ aus „Polifemo“. Ein Muss für Fans, eine mögliche Offenbarung für Neueinsteiger.

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2013-09-18 featured press

Der Neue Merker – Philippe Jaroussky – Der König der Countertenöre

2013-09-18, Der Neue Merker, by John H. Mueller

Man staunt immer wieder über die Virtuosität von Jaroussky und, obwohl  der Sänger im oberen Klangbereich singt (wir vermeiden mal die Unterscheidung zwischen Falsett, Kopfstimme und Voix mixte in diesem Fall), wirkt er doch nie „weibisch“ oder affektiert. Ja, so könnte ein Kastrat oder eben der hier anvisierte Farinelli geklungen haben. Jaroussky erreicht mit seiner gesanglichen Könnerschaft, dass seine Stimme als „Instrument zwischen den Geschlechtern“, also weder männlich noch weiblich, klingt. Vielleicht liegt hier das Geheimnis des Kastratengesanges und der Faszination, welche die Counter in den letzten Jahren vor allem ausüben.

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2013-09-09 featured press

Le Figaro – Farinelli-Caffarelli : le duel des castrats

2013-09-09, Le Figaro, by Thierry Hillériteau

Vous revenez de plusieurs mois de congé sabbatique. Allez-vous donner une nouvelle orientation à votre carrière?
Pas fondamentalement, mais il y a deux directions que je souhaite explorer: faire plus de scène et d’opéras, puisque nous avons désormais la chance que les contre-ténors soient reconnus dans le monde lyrique et que l’on bâtisse des projets d’opéra autour de nous. Et, pour le récital, me tourner vers un répertoire moins virtuose, qui reflète davantage la sérénité, la douceur poétique et la maturité que l’exaltation de la jeunesse. Je pense par exemple à une suite à mon album de mélodies françaises. Entre autres projets…

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2013-09 featured press

Musikwoche – Kritik – Porpora Arias Philippe Jaroussky

2013-09, Musikwoche, by Birgit Schlinger

Nachdem der Kontratenor Philippe Jaroussky bereits ein Soloalbum dem Castraten Carestini gewidmet hat (2008), war die Zeit nun reif für eine Begegnung mit dem berühmtesten Barocksänger: Denn mit “Farinelli – Porpora Arias” zeigt der französische Sänger einmal mehr mit seinem großen Stimmvolumen und Tonumfang, mit seinem farbenreichen Ausdruck und persönlichen Nuancierungen, dass er vollkommen zu Recht als derzeit bester Vertreter seines Faches gilt.

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Limelight – The French countertenor makes love not war in the battle of Baroque singers

2013-03-28, Limelight, by
Live review: Philippe Jaroussky, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, “Limelight,” the Classical Music and Arts Website, March 28, 2013

Philippe Jaroussky, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra City Recital Hall, Angel Place, March 15

With typical Gallic gallantry, then, Jaroussky neatly summed up the symmetry of the evening’s dual homage to two duelling voices of the Baroque: Carestini, the star attraction of Handel’s opera company in London, and the showman Farinelli singing in his mentor Porpora’s corner. Handel’s music may have won out in terms of modern-day popularity and enduring genius but, as Jaroussky and the Brandenburgs demonstrate, there is plenty of beauty and virtuosity to be found in the Italian composer’s work. His Alto giove, sung by Jaroussky in his typically sweet, focused tone, was a moment of profound stillness and pathos in an active program.

Read more [Edit, 29 Sept 2015, article offline]

2013-03-18_3 featured press

Arts Hub – Review, Philippe Jaroussky

2013-03-18, Arts Hub, by Heather Leviston

[…] While retaining beauty and clarity, which are hallmarks of his sound, greater power and substance were immediately evident. His astonishing flexibility was as thrilling as ever.

[…] Superb breath control led to some ravishing sustained notes and this, coupled with his impressive range and agility, made for a compelling musical experience.

Jaroussky’s mastery of the vocal technique demanded by the highly florid Porpora arias before and after interval was, if anything, even more impressive, particularly in ‘Alto Giove’. Beginning with a most beautifully controlled ‘messa di voce’ and ornamented for maximum emotional impact, his singing of this aria was totally seductive. It is hard to imagine a more perfect interpretation. The capacity audience was ecstatic.

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