Max Cencic: Rokoko: Hasse Opera Arias (2014)

Max Rokoko

Listen to this for: some love for Hasse

This is probably a good moment to point out that Cencic has a very individual take on album covers. His outfits are often particularly off-the-wall (the current winner is his 2006 Scarlatti album), but when you have such a divine voice, I suppose you can wear what you darn well please. Anyway… I happened to buy Rokoko and Reloaded (see below) at the same time in an acquisitive flurry, without realising that they’re both devoted to the works of Hasse. Fortunately, whether by accident or design, they present completely different programmes. Here, it’s once again hard to choose favourites because Cencic is so good throughout, but his opening track, Notte amica from the Cantico dei tre fanciulli is simply stupendous. Just savour those opening notes… By contrast, the closing Vo disperato a morte from the opera Tito Vespasiano is a beguiling combination of splendour and sensitivity. I can forgive him anything: even the fact he gives away three tracks for a mandolin concerto when I just want to hear more of him. Whether I compare his voice to honey or velvet or melted chocolate, one thing’s for sure: the man has class.

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