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Jed Distler
Gramophone, February 2014

Marvellous as it is to encounter the Brazilian countertenor José Lemos in opera, chamber concerts and song recitals arguably reveal the fuller scope of his effortless technical agility and uncanny word-painting, such as in this collection of 17th-century Italian vocal works. The first thing you’ll notice is the unusually resonant engineering. The recording captures how his sensitive and stylish collaborators sound in a resplendent hall but also reveals how Lemos’s vocal nuances mesh with the acoustic ambience.

The programme opens and closes with vocally elaborate pieces by Tarquinio Merula. The rapid runs and offhand melismas in ‘Su la cetra amorosa’ are playful and incisive, while ‘Hor ch’è il tempo di dormire’ unravels in dark tones that create an intimate, conversational scenario…Barbara Strozzi’s ‘L’amante segreto’ is a tour de force that runs the gamut between lyrical brooding and an upbeat conclusion. Good notes plus full texts and translations enhance one of 2013’s most rewarding releases. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Kara Dahl Russell
The WSCL Blog, December 2013

“I have seen angels on earth” is the title work of this CD. For those who are delighted with historical accuracy, the high counter-tenor showcased along with harpsichord and theorbo, the excellence of musicianship, and the selection of material will indeed be a visitation of angels. © 2013 The WSCL Blog Read complete review



Michael Schwartz
The WholeNote, November 2013

Brazilian José Lemos displays his in-depth love for Italian vocal music by selecting not only giants of the period but also lesser-known composers.

Vinikour gives a spirited interpretation of Storace’s complex score—the most demanding this reviewer has heard. And for good measure there is the exuberant Balletto by the same composer.

Lemos starts and finishes his recital with songs by Merula, who deserves to be better known. Listening to this choice of songs, it is easy to see why—this is a wonderful collection of early Italian baroque music. © 2013 The WholeNote Read complete review



Lawrence Schenbeck
PS Tracks, November 2013

My current favorite is Io Vidi in Terra, a collection of 17th-century Italian song from countertenor José Lemos, accompanied by harpsichordist Jory Vinikour and lutenist Deborah Fox…I realize that this sounds like esoteric territory—trust me, it’s warmly engaging music that touches on the most basic human emotions. © 2013 PS Tracks Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, October 2013

The countertenor, the male voice so much a part of early music, if the singer is good, has a sound very otherworldly, uncanny. That is the case with Jose Lemos, and he shows this with great artistry on his collection of 17th Century Italian songs, Io Vidi in Terra…He is accompanied by Jory Vinikour on harpsichord and/or Deborah Fox on the theorbo, a kind of lute of the era.

The combination of an exceptional countertenor in Lemos and the spirited accompaniment…works remarkably well. Lemos has the embellishments, the delivery and the phrasing that works with the authentic period instrumental playing style to create a world that we no longer know in our contemporary world but recognize as fully worthy of our attention.

…the music is superb. I can’t say that more emphatically—and I have nothing to gain by saying it except perhaps to convince others of what they will get with this release, to bring them the pleasure I experience myself by listening. © 2013 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Joseph Newsome
Voix des Arts, October 2013

Io Vidi in Terra unites the magnificent voice of Brazilian countertenor José Lemos with the internationally-acclaimed playing of theorbist Deborah Fox and harpsichordist Jory Vinikour. The immediacy of the collaboration among these three artists is both immensely impressive and delightfully entertaining…this disc proves that this music does not need ‘special’ treatment: perform it with the integrity and obvious passion displayed by Mr Lemos, Ms Fox, and Mr Vinikour, and niceties of style and substance fall into place unobtrusively. While others fuss and fret over correct temperaments, proper diapasons, and execution of the vocal tricks of the early Baroque, this trio get it right without the audible calculation and caterwauling. © 2013 Voix des Arts Read complete review




Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition, October 2013

…most recent artists have truly developed a formidable technical facility, and many of them are superb musicians as well. Jose Lemos is certainly one of these, as his renditions of these early Baroque gems aptly demonstrate.

This recital touches on many of the finest works for the high male genre…and reveals the sources to be spectacularly beautiful in content and even so…in poetry as well.  The audio on this excellent Blu-ray audio disc is fantastic, as are most releases from Sono Luminus. Lemos has chosen two of the best companions of the early music scene, Jory Vinikour and Deborah Fox, and their contributions cannot be underestimated. Lemos himself is a marvel; rarely have I encountered such perspicacious musicianship among any artists of any kind… © 2013 Audiophile Audition Read complete review



Joseph Newsome
Voix des Arts, September 2013

Both instrumentalists are granted opportunities to display their virtuosity, and they seize these chances with exceptional playing. Ms Fox offers a beguiling performance of a Partite by Alessandro Piccinini…Mr Vinikour’s fingers dazzle with accounts of Bernardo Storace’s ‘Spagnoletta’ and ‘Balletto.’ No less astonishing are the feats of musical brilliance and interpretive integrity that Ms Fox and Mr Vinikour bring to their playing in the vocal numbers: they and Mr Lemos seem to breath in tandem, their collective phrasing so unified as to create the illusion that a single musician is producing all of the sounds heard on Io vidi in terra. © 2013 Voix des Arts Read complete review






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8:33:27 AM, 10 July 2014
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