Album: Iestyn Davies/Ensemble Guadagni, Handel: Nine German Arias (Wigmore Hall)

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The Independent Culture

This year's winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society's Young Artist Award, Iestyn Davies here applies his strong, precise countertenor to a mixed programme of works by several composers, centred around Handel's Nine German Arias, whose three-line settings he has arranged for the Ensemble Guadagni's period textures of harpsichord, theorbo, organ, violin and viola da gamba.

There's no trace in Davies' delivery of the epicene floridity to which some countertenors can be prey: rather, emotional acuity prevails, most impressively so on Purcell's "Gentle shepherds, you that know", delivered with commendable poise.

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