Classical reviews: December 8

''La Voix des Reves''.
Philippe Jaroussky, etc,
Virgin DVD.

''The Voice of Dreams'', subtitled in English ''the greatest moments in concert'' has vocal artistry of a top countertenor combined with entertaining video - a rare chance to see the ancient instruments played by several accompanying baroque groups.

Frenchman Jaroussky is enthusiastic and enchanting singing works by Handel, Purcell and other early composers.

Among the delights is Purcell's gorgeous Sound the Trumpet, with a dream interlude in the middle (it is cleverly jazzed up - then baroque peace is restored).

Other light relief in 160 minutes of 32 items are three comic duets with Marie-Nicole Lemieux (a bulky prima donna). Jaroussky also plays violin in a brief Prelude for Two Violins and Piano by Shostakovich. Anne Sofie von Otter joins him in a beautiful Handel duet (Son nata a lagrimar).

Highlights: Great live performances.



''The Voice''.
Philippe Jaroussky.
Virgin 2CDs.

Continuing on a high note (or notes), I applaud Jaroussky as ''Apollo of countertenors'' (Germany's Die Zeit.)

From similar design of covers, I expected the CD album to repeat the DVD music - but no, this excellent compilation chosen by the soloist has only nine of 32 tracks matching music on the DVD.

Sadly the live-staged fun items are missing: the jazz injection into Handel and comic duets with Lemieux.

Perhaps no video was available for these delights in the DVD. Six of the tracks are new studio recordings, and it's the 34-year-old singer's ''best of'', with works like Porpora's Alto Giove and Handel's famous Ombra mai fu.

Vivaldi wins many honours, but other composers include Caldara, Monteverdi and J.C. Bach, plus, from later eras, Faure's sublime Pie Jesu.

Honours: Outstanding voice and musical delivery.