Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Roger Norrington, conductor
Virgin Veritas, 1998
It is simply titled Handel the album that the countertenor David Daniels devotes to some arias from the most famous operas of the German composer, all dating back to his London period: Serse, Giulio Cesare in Egitto, Tamerlano, Ariodante, Rodelinda and Rinaldo. Although here Daniels was at the beginning of his career, he appears already as a fully formed singer, exquisite in taste, elegant in phrasing and perfect in coloratura.
This album has a delicate and fine spirit and it is clear that Daniels tends to an interpretation full of grace, which enables a full expression of feelings, which usually are neglected in this repertoire. Note instead the sweetness of Ombra mai fu, the spirit in Va tacito e nascosto, and especially the melancholy in Dove sei, amato bene. Everything here states that Daniels is a first rate Handelian singer, as he confirmed also in the long and successful career that followed this recording. Roger Norrington’s direction is sensitive to the singer, providing valuable support not only in music, but also in expression.