Countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński Releases Second Album 'Facce d'amore'

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Countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński Releases Second Album 'Facce d'amore'

Facce d'amore, 'Faces of love,' is the second solo album from countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński. It follows Anima Sacra, released in 2018, an Erato debut which moved Gramophone magazine to announce that "this is a voice with a big future," and The Sunday Times, praised Orliński for "the unearthly beauty of [his] tone, his pearly coloratura, and fabulous breath control," to say, "He's only 28, but this is a special voice to look out for."

The new album brings a switch from the sacred to the personal and passionate. As the Polish-born, New York-trained singer explains: "On Anima Sacra, I wanted to take listeners on a spiritual journey through an entire program based on sacred music of the 18th century. The idea behind Facce d'amore is a bit different."

The program - which includes an impressive eight world premiere recordings - comprises "operatic arias that tell a story, showing a musical picture of a male lover in the baroque era. They focus on totally different aspects of love - not only the positive side, like joyful or reciprocated love, but also the side where the characters are possessed by anger or even madness."

The album, which spans some 85 years of the Baroque period, includes arias by major figures like Handel, Cavalli and Alessandro Scarlatti, composers whose names have regained currency over recent decades, like Bononcini, Conti and Hasse (who wrote the virtuosic 'Sempre a si vaghi rai' - one of the album's world premieres - for the legendary castrato Farinelli), and relatively obscure names like Orlandini, Predieri and Matteis. As for Anima Sacra, the bass-baritone Yannis François advised on the conception and compilation of the program for Facce d'amore, while Orliński's performance partners are again the instrumentalists of Il Pomo d'Oro and their Principal Conductor Maxim Emelyanychev.

A great deal has happened in Jakub Józef Orliński's career since the release of Anima Sacra, which has taken his name around the world. The New Yorker summed him up with the headline "A millennial countertenor's pop-star appeal," while his assumption of the title role in Handel's Rinaldo at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in August 2019 led the Financial Times to write that: "Jakub Józef Orliński is the new countertenor on the block. In the short time that he was been singing at the top level he has matured at speed and his Rinaldo is the number one reason for catching this run of performances."

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