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Bertil van Boer
Fanfare, January 2013

This has got to be one of the neatest intermezzi of the early 18th century. Here you have it; comedy, sex, coarse language, and some extremely sprightly tunes, not to mention a recitative that actually has some comedic plot to it…What’s not to like?…this is music that, barring censorship for indecent behavior, should bring a smile to any audience.

It is double surprise that this has not been recorded more frequently. I would hope this disc is the one to resurrect the work from undue oblivion. Matthew Dirst keeps his ensemble crisp and precise, and it remains the core of the production. Both mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton and bass Brian Shircliffe follow along nicely…Céline Ricci’s soprano is…refined and on pitch, and Joseph Gaines’s Liscione is played to fine comic effect…it is an important addition to the intermezzo repertory that has long been missing…you could not go wrong…in obtaining this one. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

Catherine Moore
American Record Guide, January 2013

La Dirindina…is a well-written sketch of human frailty and downright slapstick satire. Performed very well here by Ars Lyrica Houston, it is engaging and animated.

Programmed here with it is the solo cantata Pur Nel Sonno…The final aria is an impassioned and virtuoso showpiece for both singer and ensemble.

The whole program is very well constructed and performed. There is a very fine assurance and comfort in the style, tight playing among the singers and players, perfectly-judged tempos, and strong vocal acting. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition, November 2012

Sandwiched between the acts is one of two sonatas on this recording…I can say that these are well-played and make an acceptable divider in this program.

The cantata At least in sleep my beloved comes to comfort my pains on a libretto by Metastasio…is tempestuous, surprisingly, considering the very tender opening, which includes a two part overture of sorts. It is definitely the best vocal work on the disc.

All of the performers are really outstanding, and Houston is lucky to have such a performing group available in its environs.

As far as I can see this release is also priced very reasonably, so no need to delay. © 2012 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

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