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Fanfare Magazine: 43:3 (01-02/2020) 
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Reviewer: Raymond Tuttle

I had just finished recommending Delphine Galou’s CD, with the same conductor and orchestra, of cantatas and operatic arias by Vivaldi when this release came along. Galou makes an even stronger impression here than she did on the other release. Her ability to caress a vocal line, and to give it presence and body, even when she is singing softly, comes to the fore as early as in the central aria (“Sileant zephyr”) from Filiæ mæstæ Jerusalem. (I am surprised that it is not already as popular as “Vedrò con mio diletto” from Vivaldi’s Il giustino, which lately has become a small sensation on YouTube.) A few years ago, Philippe Jaroussky recorded it for his Pietà CD (Erato), but I think Galou’s warmer, larger voice works better in this aria. Galou is at least as good as any Baroque singer in front of the public ear today.


Tenor Giangrande, who joins her in one of the shortest works, and who has the martial Regina cœli to himself (even though Naïve’s materials tell us in several places that it was composed for a contralto), is less fine—his machine gun-like articulation in the more rapid passages is more distinctive than beautiful, but he still is serviceable. In the middle of the program we hear a violin concerto in which the accompanying orchestra is divided in two—a special touch for celebrating the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Its middle movement is very beautiful, and unusual, as it is essentially an extended solo for the violinist. Alessandro Tampieri plays it gorgeously here—you might find yourself holding your breath. And so, even though this disc has the omnibus title Sacred Music for Alto, it is a good deal more than that!

Galou is turning out to be a singer worth paying special attention to. In 2017, she released an Alpha Classics CD (Agitato) devoted to Italian Baroque composers, again with Dantone and Accademia Bizantina. For what it is worth, it won an award from Gramophone in the recital category. It did not come our way, so perhaps I will track it down to see what all the fuss is about. On the basis of these two Vivaldi discs, my expectations for it are high.

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