Magazine article Opera Canada

Vivaldi: Suzie LeBlanc

Magazine article Opera Canada

Vivaldi: Suzie LeBlanc

Article excerpt

VIVALDI

Suzie LeBlanc, soprano; Teatro Lirico, led by Stephen Stubbs. Atma Classique ACD 2 2225

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The marvellous Acadian soprano Suzie LeBlanc's four-work survey of Antonio Vivaldi's sacred music for solo voice represents an astute commingling of artist and repertoire. LeBlanc's is a pure, clear vocal instrument, but used with an expressive delicacy that redeems it from being the overly chaste, even sterile timbre affected by the descendents of the Emma Kirkby school of singing. There is a sensuality in LeBlanc's sound that perfectly suits Vivaldi's vocal writing, for even these sacred selections are subtly infused with the Italian master's instinct for gorgeous effects. Earthly beauty seems, for him, the best possible route to spiritual grace.

The early setting of "Salve Regina," (RV 617), is graceful, much of it for solo violin and voice. To say it is almost instrumental in its effects is not to be dismissive, for it also contains the melodic and structural invention that distinguish Vivaldi's instrumental writing. The "Laudate pueri Dominum" (RV 601) proves memorable for a radiant gentleness of spirit. The two remaining works on the CD, "O qui coeli terraeque serenitas" (RV 631) and "Vos aurae per montes" (RV 634)--both employing the traditional four-part construction--are also marked with an effortless melodic ingenuity, and the most tender of inter-plays between singer and musicians. …

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