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Sandrine Piau to give NY recital debut this fall

The dazzling French soprano Sandrine Piau will make her New York recital debut this fall at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall (Friday, October 9), as part of a thrilling new season. Other highlights of 2009-10 will be a new recording for naïve, entitled Between Heaven and Earth, featuring sacred music by Handel, and performances throughout Europe, including a concert with the Berlin Philharmonic.  Piau recently won the Victoire de la musique (a major French music award), and she will sing at the renowned Salzburg Festival this summer (August 15 and 16).

Sandrine Piau has received exceptional acclaim for her stage and recorded performances of gems from the Baroque repertoire, especially the music of Handel.  Her most recent recording, featuring arias and duets by Handel with contralto Sara Mingardo and Rinaldo Alessandrini conducting his Concerto Italiano, was just named CD of the Month in the July 2009 issue of Gramophone.  The magazine’s editor, James Inverne, notes in his “Editor’s Choice” commentary:

“Sandrine Piau and Sara Mingardo are a match made in Handelian heaven.  The former’s creamy soprano blends superbly with her dark yet receptive contralto colleague.  At times they almost seem to mesh, as if into one instrument…All here sounds natural, truthful, genuine.  Simply magnificent.”

Gramophone’s July issue also includes a brief conversation with Piau about the album, which she describes as being inspired more by the essence of her collaboration with her “musical sister” Sara Mingardo than by her desire to record a specific musical program.

Piau leads an all-star cast in La fida ninfa, the latest opera release in naïve’s acclaimed Vivaldi Edition featuring Jean-Christophe Spinosi conducting the Ensemble Matheus.  New Yorker critic Alex Ross made the album a CD of the Week at his popular blog, The Rest is Noise, and David Stearns gave the album a four-star review last month in the Philadelphia Inquirer:  Stearns wrote, “Though Naive’s Vivaldi Edition has been full of surprises that can’t help but prompt a positive reappraisal of this ultra-productive composer, this particular opera recording promises to be one of the ultimate landmarks.”  The All Music Guide lavished special praise on Piau, calling her performance “especially breathtaking in the precision and agility of her stratospheric coloratura.”

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© 21C Media Group, July 2009

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