"What struck me on hearing this disc is just how attractive his countertenor is": William Towers's solo disc Handelian Pyrotechnics

28 May 2021

Released on Signum Records in April 2021, Handelian Pyrotechnics is the first solo disc of William Towers, in collaboration with the Armonico Consort and Christopher Monks. The CD features a considered selection of arias which represent William's journey with Handel throughout his international career to date. From well-loved classics to lesser known gems, it explores Handel's writing for countertenor - ranging from the poignant and lyric, to the dazzling fireworks which give the disc its explosive name.

Handelian Pyrotechnics has received excellent reviews so far:

"Towers has all the technique needed to not only spin a lovely, well supported line, but to do so with flexibility, sensitivity and attention to the words."
- Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill

"Towers’s quick passages are admirably sure-footed in ‘Cielo! Se tu il consenti’ (not an obvious extract from Orlando), and there is limpid pathos in Radamisto’s ‘Qual nave smarrita’. Ottone’s intimate ‘Tacerò, purchè fedele’ is sweetly devoted, accompanied by just cello and theorbo. The joyful ‘Dopo l’orrore’ for the title-hero in Ottone (not the same one) brings proceedings to a fitting close."
- David Vickers, Gramophone

"In his particular vocal strengths, Towers is in fact closer to Senesino than any other countertenor I know. Senesino was famed for his muscle, dark timbre and jaw-dropping control of breath, line and messa di voce; his music is therefore optimal for Towers, who shares these gifts. Towers embraces signature Senesino moves – such as subtly extending the final note of a long phrase, or adding and removing vibrato an unaccompanied sustained note – and makes them stunningly his own."
- Berta Joncus, BBC Music Magazine

"What struck me on hearing this disc is just how attractive his countertenor is, the fullness of body and colour enhanced by his even projection and control. In this sequence of arias, he creates credible characters that win our sympathy and understanding, and captures a range of emotions from loneliness to jealousy, loss, courage, desire. His diction is idiomatic and crisp, and he uses the Italian text to deepen the innate lyricism of the line."
- Claire Seymour, Opera Today

You can read more about the album in William's interview with David Smith from Presto Classical, through this link here.

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