French producer, Alain Lanceron’s decision to bring together Julia Lezhneva and Philippe Jaroussky in a recording of Pergolesi seems like a match made in heaven. Both singers have wowed Australian audiences in recent times: Jaroussky with his voice of velvet and dashing good looks, and Lezhneva with her range, technical prowess and elegance. 

The pair work particularly well together in the Stabat Mater where there are frequent opportunities to match vocal colour and intensity. They are well supported by Diego Fasolis and his band who reinforce the varying moods of the plangent text without taking away from the distinguished vocal contributions. 

Grander in scale are the two psalm settings, Laudate pueri and Confitebor. These festive works with their writing for chorus and larger orchestra allow the soloists to present their more operatic credentials. The Laudate is a well chosen vehicle for Lezhneva’s talents, allowing her to display her skill in coloratura runs and ornamentation over a fairly wide vocal range. Her delicate but expressive instrument is still in an early stage of development, and I look forward to hearing her in these works as her career progresses and her voice matures.

The Confitebor provides a jolly conclusion to this enjoyable program in which both soloists exuberantly crown the fine work of choir and orchestra. Hopefully these two young singers will collaborate on some lesser-known music in the future – that could well be heavenly.