Around the year 1600, a group of Florentine aristocrats, inspired by ancient Greek drama, gave birth to opera. It was intended to move and glorify human passions in such a strong way that the spectator's soul would be cleansed of these passions in a process that Aristotle called 'catharsis'. Xavier Sabata, in his 3rd solo album for Aparté, grasps the cathartic mettle.
Sabata has rapidly established a reputation as one of the leading countertenors of his generation. Born in Avià, Catalonia, he trained as an actor at Barcelona’s Institut del Teatre, perfecting his vocal technique at the Escola Superior de Musica Catalunya and at the Musikhochschule, Karlsruhe, where his teachers were Hartmut Höll and Mitsuko Shirai.
After early successes working with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, he now also appears with such ensembles as Europa Galante and Collegium 1704 with conductors such as Fabio Biondi, René Jacobs, Jordi Savall, Fabio Bonizzoni, Ivor Bolton, Riccardo Minasi and Harry Bicket.
The Greek conductor George Petrou studied piano in Athens and at the RCM and RAM in London. He has gradually turned to conducting and is establishing a flourishing international career. He is the artistic director of the renowned Athens based Orchestra Armonia Atenea, with which he tours and records extensively, performing both on period or modern instruments.
Spirate, o iniqui marmi...Voi d'un figlio tanto misero (from Coriolano)
Ah, frenate il pianto imbelle (from Temistocle)
In te, sposa Griselda, mi uccido...Cara sposa (from Griselda)
Viver vogl’io sempre per te mio dio....Or mi pento (from La conversion di Sant’Agostino)
Ciò che donò la frode...Alza al ciel pianta orgogliosa (from Adelaide) O del mio caro ben...Già mi sembra al carro avvinto (from Adelaide)
Sorte nemica...Quando onor favella al core (from Il Valdemaro)
Vorresti col tuo pianto (from Griselda)
Gelido in ogni vena (from Il Farnace, RV711)
23rd March 2017
“a supple, communicative voice that is honeyed and forthright by turns.”
18th April 2017
“Countertenor Xavier Sabata demonstrates his marvellous voice, which is radiant with a bright decisive, steely tone, although there is also warmth…he has a special ability for deep expression that makes me believe every word he sings, together with his ability to move the listener...lovers of early music will find plenty to relish here”
“The music-making is never devoid of interest and richness, but it is at its most persuasive when the performers let the music speak more naturally”
“Sabata's voice is as accompolished as ever, unfaxed by any flourish thrown at him, and relishing his long-spun phrases. Georg Petrou conducts with passion, though sometimes brashly exaggerating dramatic effects”
“[Xavier Sabata] starts with the considerable asset of a well-formed and appealing tonal quality which, combined with evident musical intelligence, ensures his singing of lyrical music is unfailingly rewarding, especially since he also boasts an excellent messa di voce”