by Paula Citron.
Handel Arias and Duets
Performed by soprano Christine Brandes and countertenor Daniel Taylor
Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre
Tafelmusik’s all Handel program featuring soprano Christine Brandes and countertenor Daniel Taylor was near perfect. The two singers were evenly matched in passion and expressiveness. Their arias and duets from Rinaldo and Giulio Cesare, with encores from Tolomeo and Rodelinda, enchanted the crowd. One hopes they will record together one day.
American Brandes has a rich voice that never flattens and has power to spare. She also has perfect phrasing and can hold notes forever. Taylor’s voice is sweet and true, and never shrill. He throws himself into his singing and takes incredible chances. He is, in a word, exciting. Both have formidable coloraturas, and in the repeats of the da capo, performed ornamentation of exquisite good taste. They are singers who understand the drama, yet serve the composer.
Tafelmusik got it its licks in overtures and instrumental works featuring their talented oboe players John Abberger and Marco Cera. The Tafelmusik players are truly at the forefront of early music.