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If late 18th century opera leaves you cold or the countertenor voice makes you squeamish, this CD is not for you.

But if you have an ear for the tragic passions beneath the music’s formal contours, you will succumb to its expressive grace, especially with interpreters as persuasive as Mehta and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin under René Jacobs.

There are 11 Italian-language arias, of which only three were composed by an Italian – Traetta. The rest are by Johann Christian Bach, Gluck, Hasse and the young Mozart.

Che Puro Ciel

The Rise of Classical Opera

(Bejun Mehta)

Harmonia Mundi

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