Advent Calendar Day 17: Rejoice Greatly (Handel)

I know, I know, I’m really milking this Rejoice business now, aren’t I?  But you see, I went looking for a Magnificat, and then fell down an internet rabbit hole and found myself listening to Patricia Petibon singing Der Hölle Rache, as well as a whole lot of other entirely un-Adventy things, because she is an utterly addictive singer to watch, and then I remembered seeing a recording of a very young Patricia Petibon (with dark hair!) singing Rejoice Greatly, and *clearly* that had to be the next thing I posted here, because it’s gorgeous.

I love this aria, and I just adore the way Petibon sings it – she is so very expressive, with those huge eyes and wild hair, and I do find it hilarious when she goes all sopranolicious on those cadenzas.  I didn’t think that baroque ornaments normally went into the stratosphere like that, but that’s not going to stop her, and nor should it, because she sounds amazing.

Honestly, I can’t think of anything to add to this, except that you really should go and find more videos of Patricia Petibon singing.  I love her CDs – her choice of music is superb and diverse – but really, watching her sing is something else again.


Monday Music: El Vito (Joaquín Nin y Castellanos) sung by Patricia Petibon

Really, how gorgeous is Patricia Petibon?  I mean, first there is that impeccable, light coloratura voice, full of personality, and then there is her amazing, almost outrageously expressive face.  I wish there were more videos of her singing live, because I could watch and listen to her for hours.

Actually, I kind of have been.  But I’m saving some of those other posts for later.  And swooning a little.

Anyway, here she is, singing El Vito, a Spanish folk song that was, if I understand correctly (I do not have her Melancolia CD – yet! – so I can’t tell you based on the notes) set by Joaquín Nin y Castellanos.  The lyrics are a little concerning, translating to “An old woman is worth a silver coin and a young girl two copper coins, but as I am so poor I go for the cheapest. On with the dancing, on with the dancing, ole! Stop your teasing, sir, else I’ll blush!”

But I don’t really care about dodgy lyrics, because Petibon is just so utterly gorgeous when she sings them. I’m sorry, I know I keep saying that.  One of the other things I really love about Petibon’s work is her choice of repertoire – her CDs tend to be a combination of baroque arias with the sort of folk songs that are halfway to being dances – full of lively percussion. To me, that’s the perfect mix… or perhaps it’s just the way Petibon sings?

Because I am now officially a Petibon addict, I’m going to leave you with a couple more of her songs.  Here’s her version of the Doll Song from Les Contes d’Hoffmann, complete with strange doll-like noises, broken creaks, and random attacks of Queen of the Night.  And for contrast, here she is, singing ‘Lascia ch’io pianga‘ (let me weep), from Handel’s opera, Rinaldo.

Can I be her when I grow up?

Music for a Monday: El Bajel que no recela (Jose de Nebra)

I’ve been hearing a lot about Patricia Petibon for some time, so when I found myself in a bookshop recently, with a book voucher and Patricia Petibon’s CD “Nouveau Monde”, purporting to be Baroque arias and songs themed around voyages to new lands, I decided to give it a try.

This was the first track on the CD.

Continue reading