Album: Handel, Between Heaven and Earth, (Naïve)

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The Independent Culture

French soprano Sandrine Piau flits effortlessly between the Italianate brilliance of "Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno" (1707), the Arcadian idylls of the "Song for St Cecilia's Day" (1739) and the tortured heroines of "Alexander Balus" (1748) and "Theodora" (1750), darkening or blanching her cool, quirky voice to fit each aria.

Directed from the violin by Stefano Montanari, Accademia Bizantina are lively accompanists, with plenty of sparkle from the harp and archlute, and a supersonic "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba".