David Daniels – Serenade (2000)

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David Daniels – Serenade (2000)

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01. Beethoven - Adelaide
02. Schubert - Der Tod Und Das Madchen
03. Schubert - Auf Dem Wasser Zu Singen
04. Schubert - Nacht Und Traume
05. Schubert - Adelaide
06. Caldara - Selve Amiche
07. Gluck - O Del Mio Dolce Ardor					play
08. Cesti - Intorno All'idol Mio
09. Lotti - Pur Dicesti, O Bocco Bella
10. Gounod - L' Absent
11. Gounod - Ou Voulez-Vous Allez
12. Gounod - Absence
13. Gounod - Serenade
14. Vaughan Williams - Orpheus With His Lute
15. Vaughan Williams - Linden Lea
16. Vaughan Williams - Hands, Eyes And Heart
17. Poulenc - C'est Ainsi Que Tu Es
18. Poulenc - Priez Pour Paix						play
19. Poulenc - Chansons Gaillardes
20. Purcell - Sweeter Than Roses
22. Purcell - I'll Sail Upon The Dog-Star
23. Purcell - Now That The Sun Hath Veiled His Light

David Daniels – countertenor


What a brave and diverse group of pieces to appear on one recording. When you have heard 20 renditions of Dowlands "Lute Songs", no matter how beautiful, they simply get OLD. These pieces, ranging from old Italian (arie antique) through Romanticism and 20th century (albeit not my first choice of works) are ALL given a smooth and emotive performance. The only real fault I have with this disk at ALL is that the recording levels are a little inconsistent. This is barely an issue, but one that bothered me just a touch. Daniels moves full force into these pieces with NO reluctance to reach and stretch his voice throughout it's rich and magnificent range. While some may criticize his use of Vibrato and extreme variations in dynamics (which I particularly enjoy), this unique sound sets him apart from other well known counter-tenors. (like Brian Asawa, Deller and Otten) His technique and production are faultless throughout with only the VERY rare "odd' intonation or vowel. (as a composer and countertenor, I am must say that some of these pieces are NOT written to avoid these sounds and thus they are completely natural to both the countertenor voice and the artistic integrity of the piece.) Perhaps it is inherent in the production of the counter-tenor voice that Italian and German are more at home than English.

My favorites so far: Nacht und Traume -- beautiful legato and sensitivity Pur dicesti -- such a fun song anyway.. Daniels sounds perfect here. Absence -- exquisite artistry on the chanson style La belle Jeunesse -- Vocal fireworks here.. I do not ever expect to hear this recorded by another counter-tenor, even the adventurous Me! All in all, this is a REQUIRED purchase for countertenor fans and singers, and a STRONG RECOMMEND for anyone who loves good classical art songs. ---Stephen Jackson, amazon.com


Michigan-trained countertenor David Daniels broke through to a wide audience partly as a result of this 2000 recording, issued soon after he made his Metropolitan Opera debut. Daniels fearlessly plunged beyond the Baroque and Renaissance repertory into the Romantic era and even the early twentieth century, becoming essentially the first countertenor to do so. When it comes to Daniels' encounters with the individual composers represented on the disc, your mileage, as the phrase goes, may vary.

However, it's hard to dispute the assertions that a) his voice was in one of those rare phases of fresh perfection that young singers sometimes hit on, and b) he had the personality to pull together what looks on the face of it like a set of material that's all over the musical map. Daniels is unlikely to start a trend among countertenors to record Schubert and Beethoven. His recordings of their songs here, with Schubert's Adelaide nicely chosen to balance Beethoven's setting, are certainly not unattractive, but the listener has a big hump of conceptual confusion to get over. With Vaughan Williams and Poulenc, however, Daniels is in a more comfortable situation. The biggest surprise is with Gounod, who certainly would not have been ready to hear a male soprano.

But the sheer beauty of Daniels' vocal lines would have blown him away, and one suspects that Daniels was well aware of his strength here; four Gounod songs make an unorthodox choice for a varied vocal recital, but by the end of the group you may be hypnotized. The pieces from the more conventional countertenor repertory of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries here are in the nature of breathers framing the more unorthodox repertory. A minor flaw: the mastering of the varied forces is inadequate. This is a disc that belongs in any collection of countertenor singing, and its release in a budget line is welcome. ---James Manheim, allmusic.com

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Last Updated (Tuesday, 22 October 2013 14:02)