Lynn René Bayley
, January 2009
I’m not at all familiar with either Carlo Gaifa or Vincenzo Manno and so, since neither the CD insert nor the booklet indicate which tenor sings what, I assume (perhaps wrongly) that Carlo Gaifa, whose name is listed first, is the lead tenor in the long and extremely difficult Combattimento, and that Vincenzo Manno is the lighter, higher tenor who sings in Tempro la cetra and as second tenor in Interrote speranze. Both have extraordinarily beautiful voices; those who’ve became used, over the years, to either imperfect light opera tenors tossed into Monteverdi because they couldn’t hack Rossini or Mozart, or tenors like Rogers, “musical” but somewhat dry of timbre, will revel in the Italianate beauty of their voices. They blend perfectly in Interrote speranze, and Gaifa’s solo singing (if it is indeed he) on Combattimento reveals a power that wouldn’t be out of place in Tosca, though with finer technical control than most modern-day Italian opera tenors have.
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