Gianluca Barutto and James Baillieu

Rosenblatt Recitals 2016: Gianluca Buratto / James Baillieu

Blogging can sometimes be at odds with one of the fundamental pleasures of classical music. Our rush to capture a moment experienced can sometimes deny us the optimum time to reflect on it.

So it is with Gianluca Buratto’s Rosenblatt Recital last night; that’s why I’ve taken nearly 24 hours before I written about it.

Barutta is an undoubted craftsman, elements of which were seen at the beginning of his recital with pianist James Baillieu. In Monteverdi’s La morte di Seneca from the composer’s last opera L’incoronazione di Poppea Buratto used the depth of his considerable voice to spellbinding effect, attending to the ends of phrases with stunning precision. The awareness both he and Baillieu also paid to the silences in Monteverdi’s scoring was incredible. For a voice which is inherently heavy, Buratto demonstrated an amazing lightness which was at times – contrary to the meaning of the text – strangely seductive.

There were moments during Handel’s Sorge infausta una procella (and to a lesser extent Vivaldi’s Se il cor guerriero)  when I wondered Barutta felt slightly less at ease with proceedings. Did the scales need more clarity? Was his voice not well-suited to Handel’s music? Or had we just been spoilt by the precision demanded by Monteverdi’s music?

Gianluca undoubtedly returned to form in a playful Madamina, il catalogo e questo from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. An ingenious and resourceful rendition (using the score he was singing from as a prop) which added to the comedy. In this and the rest of the second half we saw a different performer. Not better or worse, just evidence of considerable talent.

After a powerful Slander is a little breeze from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in which Gianluca’s voice seemed to make the Wigmore Hall itself vibrate harmonics,  Cinta di fiori from Bellini’s The Puritans once again showed his unfailing control when singing pianissimo.

Gianluca Buratto’s Rosenblatt Recital with James Baillieu was an enthralling one, one which I would have loved to have been longer.  Oh, and Gianluca’s falsetto is a thing to behold.