Gluck Italian Arias, CECILIA BARTOLI 4672482

. . . [these arias] are sung with an extraordinary emotional force and technical skill¿ not to say a sheer beauty of tone¿ that I cannot imagine being matched by any other singer today. Cecilia Bartoli's range is formidable. In the first aria¿ from La clemenza di Tito¿ she sings with trumpet­l-ike tone and brilliance of attack¿ throwing off wide-­spanning arpeggios with evident abandon and dispatching coloratura with fluency and precision¿ each note articulated and perfectly tuned -- like a row of faultless pearls¿ each one glistening. The second¿ an elegantly pathetic little piece from the later "Il Parnaso confuso"¿ is a tour de force of delicate¿ tender pianissimo singing . . . she gently draws out certain phrases¿ almost imperceptibly yet with a refinement and sensibility that are immensely affecting . . . The third¿ from Ezio¿ begins with an orchestral recitative of thrilling dramatic urgency and goes on to an aria of great passion . . . The aria from "La corona" of 1765 has alternating slow and fast sections¿ rapt and intense music alternating with forceful expression and brilliant coloratura . . . The accompaniments provided by this Berlin period­-instrument group are splendidly alert¿ sensitive and pointed. A quite outstanding record that no one who loves fine singing can miss.