New CD from Lutenist Michel Cardin, with soprano Thalia Moutopoulou

Michel Cardin, lutenist, who recorded the complete London Manuscript for solo baroque lute (re-released by Brilliant Classics in 2015), (an essential body of works by Silvius Leopold Weiss (1687-1750)), has been also known for his more than 10-year collaboration with Tim Blackmore, recorder. They have recorded 5 CDs and performed as the La Tour Baroque Duo.

Today, Michel Cardin offers a new collaboration with Greek musicians with whom he plays regularly at the ALEA III Summer Meetings in Naxos, Thalia Moutopoulou, soprano, and Chrysostomos Kalogrodakis, tenor and guitarist. This has brought us a new recording, Baroque Arias from Europe, available on usual electronic platforms. Thalia’s exceptional voice and her unique expressive flame were an inspiration for M.Cardin to propose her to make this recording. Those arias are often performed in ensembles, with a certain orchestral refinement that brings beautiful colors and a very appropriate instrumental and scenic setting. However, I thought that the expressive power of the theorbo alone, the basic instrument of any baroque continuo, allowed it to fulfill this role of the orchestra through a careful realization of the basso continuo combined with the magic of the plucked strings, which sting as much as they caress the contours of this music so moving.

For two works, however, they needed a guitar accompaniment, as the score required it, and it is the talented Chrysostomos Kalogridakis who fulfills this role in Handel’s Spanish Cantata and Cavalli’s aria from La Calisto. Chrysostomos’ small 19th guitar held the baroque guitar part with an effectively similar sound. Chrysostomos being also an accomplished tenor, they include Zefiro torna, this memorable duet by Monteverdi, in the recording.

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