Classical home listening: Philippe Jaroussky and Thibaut Garcia, Attacca Quartet and more


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The countertenor makes a guitar album, while the Brooklyn foursome mix madrigals and minimalism in lockdown

• In their first joint album, À sa guitare (Erato), the French duo of star countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and classical guitarist Thibaut Garcia give their eloquent take on music from the Renaissance to the late 20th century. Drawing on French, Spanish, Italian and English repertoire, their recital bursts with the unexpected: the pure sound of Jaroussky, who always sings in the falsetto register and is best known for his expertise in baroque opera, taking on the four characters of Schubert’s Erlkönig, Garcia’s dextrous ingenuity making you quite forget that his thunderous part was written for piano; the startling segue from a solo guitar piece by the Brazilian Dilermando Reis (1916-77) to Mozart’s elegiac evening song Abendempfindung, K523.

There’s much more, from Poulenc and Fauré to Rossini, Lorca, Purcell, Dowland and Britten. I am always dubious about the concept of late-night music, but the pair’s smoky, sensuous version of September by the Parisian singer Barbara has forced a rethink. Purists – do they still exist? – might shudder at this elegant merry-go-round, but for the rest of us this is an album full of pleasures.

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