. . . the disc is full of treats . . . The conductor George Petrou leads a highly spirited performance from his Athens-based Armenia Atenea . . . With two arias apiece, all five tenors are excellent and despatch their technical challenges with aplomb -- this is a feast of coloratura. Every listener will have their own taste, but for me the standout performer of the five is Sabadus.

. . . [Valer Sabadus'] coloratura technique, complete with pinprick staccatos, is formidable . . . [Vince Yi's] super-refined delivery works wonderfully against Yuriy Mynenko's persuasively virile athleticism . . . [Xavier Sabata's] dark alto and exceptional psychological insight make his arias, by Handel and Porpora, particularly outstanding.

. . . a fun disc on which five talented singers, expertly supported by Armonia Atenea and George Petrou, show off their vocal and histrionic virtuosity . . . a banquet of a style of singing at once old and new, served by five of its finest exponents . . . Vince Yi is a cosmopolitan gentleman with a beautiful voice of silvery delicacy . . . Xavier Sabata's piquant Catalan spirit emanates from every note that he sings, whether emitted in plaintive sorrow, gnawing perfidy, or sultry seduction. He makes a specialty of portraying Baroque operatic villains, but the smoky sexiness of his singing grants him a disquieting credibility as a musical lover and dashing hero . . . [Valer Sabadus'] voice is a fine instrument over which he wields meticulous control, and his performances on this disc are exemplary examples of the transitional musical idioms of an unjustly-overlooked period in operatic history . . . [Yuriy Mynenko]: With a bright timbre and exceptional comfort in music of fiendish difficulty, he promises to make an enduring impact in the realm of countertenor singing . . . The links between the great castrati of the past and countertenor singing present and future are thrillingly exemplified by Max Emanuel Cencic . . . What "The 5 Countertenors" makes marvelously apparent is that "the countertenor voice" is, in fact, a kaleidoscopic array of colors and patterns, no more defined by the singular sound of a particular singer than any other Fach . . . "The 5 Countertenors" is a sensational souvenir of this musical brave new world.

. . . the orchestra is a source of constant pleasure throughout the recital -- infectiously bracing, rhythmically vital, and full of colour and nuance . . . [Cencic's] virtuosic purity and crystalline precision offers a master-class in vocal athleticism in Bertoni's "Addio, o miei sospiri!" . . . [Vince Yi]: it's a pleasure to hear the elegantly worked aria from Myslivecek's "Farance" . . . There's fine sound Quality . . .

"Spezza lo tral piagato", from Jommelli's "Tito Manila", showcases Sabadus' accuracy and agility in music of high floridity, none of which compromises the voluptuous beauty of his voice or its capacity to communicate drama. The chafing harmonies of "Non so frenare il pianta", from Gluck's "Demetrio", yield more plangent music, highlighting the singer's ability to follow limpid melodies into emotionally engaging territory . . . [there are also important contributions from the virile-sounding Xavier Sabata, Cencic and newcomers Vincent Yi] and Yuriy Mynenko, a spitfire powerhouse of a singer. They all left me wanting to hear the complete operas.

Was für ein fulminanter Auftakt ist es, wenn Valer Sabadus in der Arie "Spezza lo stral piagato" den Zorn eines verwundeten, laut brüllenden Löwen heraufbeschwört! Diese spannungsgeladene Arie aus "Tito Manlio" von Niccolò Jommelli bietet dem Shootingstar unter den Countertenören fantastische Möglichkeiten, sein Können souverän unter Beweis zu stellen . . . [die Countertenöre werden] von der Armonia Atenea unter der Leitung der Barockspezialisten George Petrou mit Verve und pointierter Dramatik begleitet . . . Ein Fest für alle Freunde dieses hinreißenden, überirdisch schön klingenden Stimmtypus!

. . . [diese "vokale Visitenkarten"] haben es in sich. Vor allem, weil sie vorführen, wie sehr sich da ein Fach verästelt hat, das nur schwer unter dem Begriff "Countertenor" subsumiert werden kann. Zum Beispiel im Falle von Valer Sabadus. Der führt in Arien aus Jommellis "Tito Manlio" und Glucks "Demetrio" die ebenmäßigste, sopranhaltigste Stimme vor . . . Größer dimensioniert, charaktervoller, um zwei, drei Farbwerte reicher und eher im Mezzo-Bereich angesiedelt ist die Stimme von Xavier Sabata . . . Gäbe es einen Favoriten, dann vielleicht Yuriy Mynenko. Viel Energie und Attacke sind bei ihm zu hören, ein flammendes Timbre, dessen Substanz aber gut gebündelt und im Zaum gehalten wird: Die Ausschnitte aus Händels "Serse" und Johann Christian Bachs "Temistocle" lassen am meisten aufhorchen.

Les cinq contreténors, en rien interchangeables font valoir des qualités différenciées. Au pupitre, George Petrou fait des merveilles.

Le programme retenu présente le double avantage de privilégier les raretés et d'offrir à chacun l'opportunité de donner le meilleur de lui-même. En grande forme et superbement accompagné par les forces vives de l'Armonia Atenea emmenées par George Petrou, Valer Sabadus ouvre le bal en enlevant avec brio une solide "aria di furo re" . . . le disque nous permet d'apprécier, davantage encore que le concert, les progrès de l'artiste et la finesse avec laquelle il épouse l'infléchissement des affects . . . La plainte d'Ottone "Voi che udite il mio lamento" ("Agrippina") tombe sans un pli sur le grain sombre et suave de Xavier Sabata, qui en exalte le dolorisme . . . dans la délicieuse galanterie de Myslivecek "Ti parli in seno amore" extraite de "Farnace", le chanteur se montre aussi appliqué et précautionneux . . .