Flash forward a few decades to the present and we have my favourite of the moment: the Spanish soprano Maria Bayo. This wonderful new collection of Spanish baroque music from the zarzuela tradition (a kind of indigenous operatic form) is breathtaking from beginning to end. This Spanish music is a wonderful discovery that sounds often like Handel but will surprise with some of its more indigenous elements. Bayo’s voice is one of those that truly thrill. She dazzles with her wondrous coloratura, the purity of her tone and the sincerity of her performance. She is ably assisted on this disc by Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques who provide dynamic accompaniment. This is a highly recommended disc.

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