La Veillée de Noël
ATMA ACD2 2523
Featuring the music of Barbara Strozzi and her mentors and contemporaries (Monteverdi, Kapsberger, Rossi, Merula and Landi), the incomparable soprano Suzie LeBlanc has teamed up with a most remarkable ensemble. In this recording, Constantinople looks to the early baroque with its well-established technique of infusing early and contemporary Western music with Persian musical traditions. And the repertoire of 17th-century Venice lends itself very well to the fusion, with its own tradition of highly-ornamented stylization, resulting in an intricate and marvellous interpretation. Joining theTabassian brothers Kiya (setar) and Ziya (percussion) are Enrique Solinis (baroque guitar/theorbo), Pierre-Yves Martel (viola da gamba) and Miren Zeberio (baroque violin). Unique exchanges abound amongst the instrumentalists, particularly in the Kapsberger selections, ever shifting in rhythmic nuance. It is a delight to hear LeBlanc interpret the songs of Barbara Strozzi, a singer and composer known as much for her intellect, learning and wit as her talent and beauty. LeBlanc skillfully captures her spirit. Her profoundly moving performance of Monteverdi’s Si dolce è il tormento bears witness to a wide range of emotion encapsulated in its simple strophic form.
This has proven to be a particularly prolific year for LeBlanc. A scholar in her own right, she has also been busy of late researching rare Christmas tunes from France and Acadia, resulting in the release of a lovely collection on her latest CD, La Veillée de Noël.