Here’s a Honey of a CD

CD cover of Patricia Petibon's "Rosso: Italian Baroque Arias."(Photo: Deutsche Grammophon)
CD cover of Patricia Petibon's "Rosso: Italian Baroque Arias."(Photo: Deutsche Grammophon)

I hadn’t heard the soprano Patricia Petibon until I picked up her new CD Rosso: Italian Baroque Arias. The title is a tribute to composer Antonio Vivaldi, the italian composer, priest, and violin virtuoso whose red hair earned him the nickname, Il prete rosso (“red priest”). (That reference was actually a question on a music history exam at Boston University thirty five years ago.)

The CD was produced by Deutsche Grammophon. Petibon is joined by the Venice Baroque Orchestra conducted by Andrea Marcon. There are familiar arias by George Handel and not so familiar arias by Antonio Vivaldi, Nicola (Antonio) Porpora, Alessandro Stradella and Antonio Sartorio.

Why single out this CD? Petibon has a lovely voice but so do a lot of people. What she really has is creativity and personality. Her diction leaps out of the speakers. She can bite and caress the Italian words.

Track one is Cleopatra’s aria from Antonio Sartorio’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto — complete with castanets! Petibon can be doleful, as in Handel’s “Ah! Mio Cor” from Alcina, or hot blooded and nearly x-rated in an aria from Handel’s Ariodante.

Petibon is an artist who takes risk with repertoire and interpretation, and revels in the sensual joy of singing. Don’t believe me?

Some people tell you to send yourself roses. I say send yourself Patricia’s enticing new CD. Enjoy!

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