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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 3 april 2020 | The state51 Conspiracy Ltd

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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 7 juni 2019 | deutsche harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 7 juni 2019 | deutsche harmonia mundi

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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 31 mei 2019 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason
When it comes to prosperity, Vivaldi got pretty lucky. Thanks to a succession of happy accidents, his personal collection of manuscripts has survived through the centuries, allowing his music to be preserved, then later played and recorded. The contralto Delphine Galou and Ottavio Dantone, the director of the Accademia Bizantina, drew from this priceless batch of nearly 450 compositions to develop the program for this album of sacred music pieces dedicated to the alto voice.This new recording of the Vivaldi Edition, begun by NAÏVE many years ago, offers cantatas and arias for viola, functioning as perfect companions for the album of works sung by the same Delphine Galou. The lyrics, often by unknown authors, do not have a strong literary interest. Here, we find a pastoral world populated by shepherds in need of love as well as cruel and fickle nymphs, obeying the cannon of the time.Vivaldi takes advantage of these stereotypical characters to vary his expressive palette in a very subtle way and introduce the operatic style into works primarily intended for living rooms. The exceptional quality of his music generally transcends the commissioned work he is obliged to do, both in Mantua and Venice. These cantatas are accompanied here by some arias from his many operas. They allow Delphine Galou to fully express the variety and range of her singing through the pathetism of Liquore ingrato (Tito Manlio), the sweetness of "Andrò fida e sconsolata" of the same opera or the innocent grace of a childish song in the aria "È pure dolce ad un'anima amante" (Il Giustino). © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 30 april 2019 | Decca

Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 15 februari 2019 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
Recorded in July 2018 at “Studio” - a new high-tech venue in the outskirts of Paris - this album (which was built entirely on Judith Fuchs' own idea) is dedicated to orphaned women in 19th century opera, between 1815 and 1850, who were struggling to escape the miserable conditions which they found themselves in. Following her huge success in 2018 in Rossini's Count Ory at the Opéra-Comique de Paris, Julie Fuchs was keen to further explore this repertoire. Conducted by Enrique Mazzola (a real “opera maestro”) the Orchestre National d'Île-de-France is dazzling in these operatic excerpts by Donizetti and Rossini, as well as - and most importantly – those by Pacini, Raimondi, Fioravanti, Berlioz, Barbieri and Meyerbeer. This album presents another opportunity for listeners to be won over by Fuchs’ sumptuous voice. The young French lyrical soprano first made a name for herself at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, before joining the opera ensemble at the Zurich Opera House in 2013. Further successes followed in Salzburg, Vienna and Paris as well as at the Teatro Real in Madrid. This incredibly versatile repertoire jumps from Mozart to Barbara, Cole Porter, George Crumb and Björk. Julie Fuchs knows no musical boundaries, performing with equal ease in opera as she does in concert next to the young pianist Alphonse Cemin. On Mademoiselle she sings in Italian, French and Spanish, journeying through romantic Bel Canto with a wonderfully original touch and revealing all aspects of her agile, sensual voice. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 29 november 2018 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 23 november 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or / Arte - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - 5 étoiles de Classica
This new Vivaldi album marks a double anniversary, the thirty-year anniversary of the close collaboration between Cecilia Bartoli and the famous English label Decca, and the twenty-year anniversary of the very successful first Vivaldian opus. This time leaving behind Giovanni Antonini and his Il Giardino Armonico ensemble, Cecilia Bartoli has selected French musicians well versed in Vivaldi’s music, as if to demonstrate the universal nature of the Red Priest’s compositions. In fact, Jean-Christophe Spinosi and his Ensemble Matheus have distinguished themselves with Vivaldi’s instrumental music since their early days. They started off their collaboration with five concerts, dedicated of course to the Venetian composer, in Munich, Prague, Baden-Baden and Versailles. For their first recording together they selected ten opera titles, nine of which weren’t featured on the 1999 album. The plethora of Vivaldi operas provides an endless supply to recitalists who can easily put together, as is the case here, an extremely lively programme featuring the most beautiful gems of an extraordinarily expansive composer whose melodic liveliness has been a constantly fascinating topic. This release is also beautiful in itslef (accessible on your Qobuz account), as it features a photo book containing beautiful portraits of Cecila Bartoli taken by Roman photographer Viviane Purdom, who has devoted her life to masterfully shooting great classical musicians. Happy anniversary indeed! © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 26 oktober 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 étoiles de Classica
Puccini love duets galore! That’s what the Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak and the tenor Roberto Alagna offer up here. Both are regulars on the world's greatest stages and their voices seem to have been tailor-made for this repertoire. The heroines - Mimì, Minnie, Tosca, Giorgetta, Butterfly and Manon - represent the absolute woman with a femininity that fascinates the composer, attracting him, inspiring him and making him fall in love. The male characters are undoubtedly a reflection of his own personality. Rodolfo, Mario and Calaf too, who is so besotted with Turandot that he risks his life for her: man, lover, seducer, villain, deceiver, poet, artist, knight or traitor... No doubt Roberto Alagna sees himself in these characters as well. Their traits are similar from one opera to the next, but Puccini knew how to make each vocal idiom wonderfully unique. © SM/Qobuz
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 5 oktober 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Qobuzism
For her first recital with orchestra album, young Franco-Danish soprano Elsa Dreisig had the idea of presenting five pairs of songs in which each part of the pair is ambiguously related to the other, like a mirror’s reflection. This process leads to striking juxtapositions of different musical styles, dramatic moments, historical periods and contrasting voices; classicism and romanticism complement each other, terror answers joy, and the result is a view of the feminine soul all its facets. The first pairing involves two mirrors: the one in which Marguerite from Gounod's Faust admires herself and Thaïs's mirror in Massenet's opera (Thaïs). There follows Puccini's vision of Manon Lescaut, and then Manon (sans Lescaut) as imagined by Massenet. Following this we have Juliette, this is a rather daring pairing of the largely-forgotten early romantic German composer Daniel Steibelt with Gounod's Juliette. Elsa Dreisig then moves onto the two famous Figaros, one from Rossini's Barber (Rosina) and the other from Mozart's Marriage, with the gentle tones of the Countess. Finally, and more daring still, we end with the Salome of the Hérodiade by Massenet, a tender young woman who is not after anyone's head; and then Strauss's Salome, with her sanguinary madness. Probably in order to avoid the temptation of comparisons with other recordings, our singer has opted for the 1907 French version – note that this work by Oscar Wilde was itself originally written in French. This is the most extraordinary selection that one could hope for in a first recording from any artist, all accompanied by the Montpelier Orchestra, conducted by Michael Schønwandt. © SM/Qobuz
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 5 oktober 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
This release by Mexican tenor Javier Camarena has gained a good deal of general notice by virtue of being the inaugural release in a new Mentored by Bartoli series, wherein the divine Cecilia Bartoli nurtures and duets with younger singers. Bartoli's contribution here, in an aria from Rossini's Armida, is effortlessly attractive. But the album would be worthwhile even if Bartoli were nowhere in sight. Camarena examines the repertory of the Spanish tenor Manuel García, who originated the role of Count Almaviva in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia. García was a fascinating figure who fathered both Pauline Viardot and María Malibran, as well as a son who invented the laryngoscope and lived to be 101. The elder García, in addition to starring in Rossini's operas, mastered his idiom to a startling degree. He wrote several dozen operas, in Italian, Spanish, and French, and from the evidence here, his music is well worth a broader revival. The album's title comes from the swashbuckling "Yo que soy contrabandista," from the monologue opera El poet calculista (1805). Many of his works are slightly later, contemporaneous with Rossini's, and they stand up to the juxtaposition they receive in this program. Sample "Vous dont l'image toujours chère" from the 1821 opera La morte du Tasse to hear the music García wrote for himself that was perhaps some of the first opera heard by American audiences; it has lost none of its kick. Although the music is all cut from the same cloth, Camarena mixes up recitatives and aria types to a point where things never become monotonous, and indeed, he leaves you wanting more. He gets fine support from Les Musiciens du Prince-Monaco under Gianluca Capuano, and overall this is a superior operatic recital that yields to none in terms of showcasing the star's vocal talents while also breaking new ground. © TiVo
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 4 mei 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
A record made up entirely of prologues from operas and baroque oratorios: this album isn't short on spice. Prologues are completely different from the – purely orchestral – overtures of later operas, as in the baroque era, after a short instrumental introduction, we'd get right into the action, often with a sung allegorical exposition of the setting and the story. Soprano Francesca Aspromonte and Enrico Onofri have collected these allegories with il pomo d’oro (the ensemble has decided that its name will be all lowercase), taken from the late 16th century with Monteverdi and Caccini up to the first quarter of the 18th century with Alessandro Scarlatti, via the rich beauty of the middle 17th century of Cavalli, Rossi, Stradella and Cesti. The listener will have to come to terms with the fact that the opera will never really start, that these are only the premises, the first tremblings, tantalising tasters, aimed at captivating the audience. Don't forget that in those days, it wasn't the custom to remain silent before the start of a show, and it took all the talents of the allegorist to finally get the fans' full attention. We reckon that Francesca Aspromonte will have no trouble captivating her audience. © SM/Qobuz
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 2 maart 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Diapason d'or / Arte - Qobuzism - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Nowadays it might seem rather strange to describe a composer as a “singing master”, but, during the eighteenth century, this was not the case at all. In Italy, almost every composer worthy of the name wrote opere serie (Porpora wrote at least forty- ve): serious opera was the dominant musical genre, glorifying the human voice above everything else. It was the maker or breaker of musical reputations, with its nest singers the rst superstars of music. Therefore composers, though generally eclipsed by the fame of their leading men and women, needed to understand the human voice and all its remarkable capabilities, both technical and histrionic, in order to be able to exploit the possibilities of the operatic form at a time when those “machines made for singing”, the castrati, had brought the vocal art to a pitch of perfection never known before, nor equalled since. Though this recording is bringing Porpora’s name to public attention again on the 250th anniversary of his death, his fame as a singing teacher has probably obscured, until recently, his remarkable qualities as a composer, quite simply because two of the most famous castrati were among his many pupils, namely Gaetano Majorano, known as Caffarelli, whom Porpora once called “the nest singer in Europe”, also famed for his amorous antics and arrogance on- and off-stage, and the even more celebrated Carlo Broschi, who, under his stage name of Farinelli, amazed audiences and set hearts a- utter for fteen years throughout Europe, before being called to Spain to heal a crazed King by the power of his voice. Max Cencic remarks: “Porpora was a severe teacher, I think, maybe almost sadistic in his demands — you need 120% control of breath, brain and voice”. Legend indeed has it that he taught Caffarelli one page of exercises, and those alone, for six years. The formal alternation of aria and recitative in opera seria conceals a great range of emotional expression, that varietas that Erasmus famously described as “so powerful in every sphere that there is absolutely nothing, however brilliant, which is not dimmed if not commended by variety”. In such forms as the orid aria di bravura or the lyrical aria di sostenuto, the composer’s fantasy only provided a framework for the singer to embroider: the performer’s skill in ornamentation and other emotional devices was of paramount importance. Porpora’s many years of both teaching and composing experience made him, in Max Cencic’s opinion, “one of the top ten composers of Italian Baroque opera. I chose the arias for this recording almost by instinct, by what ‘felt right’. There is no way one can encompass a composer of such quality in one album, and each piece is a treasure in its own right. Though technical display is everywhere — leaps, rapid scales, trills, long phrases — Porpora’s special and utterly captivating melodic gift always shines through.” The arias are all taken from works composed at the height of Porpora’s fame, from Ezio (Venice 1728; “Se tu la reggi al volo” is a semiquaver spectacular) to Filandro (Dresden 1747, with a ravishing siciliano in “Ove l’erbetta tenera, e molle”), including three of the operas he composed for London during the 1730s, in direct competition with Handel (Arianna in Nasso 1733, Enea nel Lazio 1734 — real reworks here in “Chi vuol salva” — and I genia in Aulide 1735). The Teatro San Carlo in Naples, perhaps the most famous of all opera houses at that time, saw the premiere of Il trionfo di Camilla in 1740, and the two arias recorded here show Porpora at his best: the music of “Va per le vene il sangue” evocatively matches its darkly suggestive text, while “Torcere il corso all’onde” combines rapid- re coloratura with elegance of line. In the three arias from Carlo il Calvo (Teatro delle Dame, Rome 1738) the singer is similarly called to match Porpora’s varietas with his own: from the scurrying oriture of “So che tiranno io sono” to the high-lying phrases of “Se rea ti vuole il cielo”, and the beguilingly hypnotic sostenuto of “Quando s’oscura il cielo”. Porpora’s orchestral writing is also remarkably varied, all the more so in that he generally uses only strings, nowhere better than in the elaborate lines of “Torbido intorno al core” from Meride e Selinunte (Venice 1726), where voice and violins entwine in an elaborate and emotionally suggestive web of divisions. However, sometimes he pulls out all the sonority stops, as in the martial “Destrier, che all’armi usato” where, at the rst performance in the Teatro Regio, Turin in 1731 trumpets and horns vied with the unmatchable power of the voice of Farinelli. As Max Cencic has said: “How can we emulate the great castrati? That is hard to pin down, but these voices were the very soul of Porpora’s music.” -Nicholas Clapton © 2018 – Decca Group Limited
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 2 maart 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
It's one of those fairy stories that the world of lyrical music likes to keep secret. Still an unknown and barely emerged from the La Scala Lyrical Academy, Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili was given the title role in Carmen by Baremboim, alongside Jonas Kaufman: an international career seemed to beckon for the young singer. And so here we will hear some of opera's great tunes, including, of course, the hits from Carmen, but also the two great arias from Samson et Dalila by Saint-Saëns, a pair from Verdi, a touch of Mascagni, some Rimski – less-frequently performed, it is true – and a rarity from his compatriot Dimitri Arakishvili (1873-1953) whose style is solidly anchored in the Russia of his day, with several, probably regional, twists. Since 2009, she has sung Carmen's role around three hundred times, and we can only hope that she never gets bogged down in it - and takes on Santuzza, Eboli, Dalil: in other words, the great characters of the dramatic mezzo repertoire. © SM/Qobuz
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 23 februari 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Diamant d'Opéra - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
With his ensemble Pygmalion, Raphaël Pichon has written the listing for this album in the form of a "pastiche" of a Mass for the Dead, a Requiem both sacred and profane. While it is a long way from having all the defining traits, it does possess all the outlines: Introit, Kyrie, Gradual, Sequence, Offertory, In Paradisum... The idea came about after a recent discovery, in the Bibliothèque Nationale of an anonymous requiem mass from the 18th century, in which the writer constructed a "parody" based on musical extracts from Castor and Pollux and the Fêtes de Paphos by Jean-Philippe Rameau. Note that the term "parody" doesn't necessarily imply satire or mockery: it refers to the practice of taking up older music and setting new words to it. This fusion of sacred music (the mass) and profane music (lyrical tragedy), a common practice during the Enlightenment, was a procedure that Pichon wanted to take up. In French society at the time, when Catholicism was the norm, where the political system was monarchical rule by divine right, the representation of ancient pagan Hell on theatrical stages seemed to betray a fascination in the beliefs of the ancients. And so this programme melds together pagan fable with a Christian imaginary, where Hell takes on different faces. It is the place of unjust and eternal torment, a place of privation where a couple is separated, one half kept in Hades. But, in the lyrical tragedy, Hell is also a place of perdition: obscure forces unleashed in Sabbath rites, a Satanic vision which unearths the darkest depths of the human soul... Stéphane Degout is the author of this tragedy, bringing together such varied characters as Phaedra, Pluto, and the Parcae. The composers whose music is put to use are Rameau and Gluck, with a single borrowing from Rebel: it would have been a shame not to mention his singular Chaos (taken from Éléments), which starts with a dissonant chord containing the seven notes of the scale of D minor. © SM/Qobuz
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 12 januari 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik - 5 étoiles de Classica
This album isn't just for fans of the counter-tenor's voice - Franco Fagiolo being one of the stars in the market - but also for lovers of the airs from Handel’s operas, and any serious baroque orchestra enthusiast, the orchestra here being Il Pomo d'Oro. When you unite all these elements together in a recording, the result is spectacular. This record includes the thrills of big hits like "Ombra mai fu" from Serse or "Cara sposa" from Rinaldo, as well as a number of no-less-interesting rarities, which have the advantage of shining a light on the lesser played works of the caro Sassone. After all, Ariodante, Partenope, Imeneo and Oreste (the album covers the composer's entire period of lyrical creativity) all have some great moments, and completely original airs, often loaded with the instrumental surprises that Handel arranged so well. And so, fans, if all three of the big elements are there - or if you are just curious to hear a very well made record - get stuck in! © SM/Qobuz
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 22 december 2017 | Musical Concepts

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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 17 november 2017 | Orfeo

Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
These are on-stage live recordings of various great Wagnerian moments of the great Swedish dramatic soprano Nina Stemme (born in 1963) made between 2003 and 2013, right during the opera singer’s time of glory, at the prime of her ability – it’s worth pointing out that a dramatic soprano’s voice, as opposed to a “classic” lyric soprano, reaches her full prime rather late in her musical life, considering the extravagant muscular stress required for the roles of Isolde, Sieglinde or Brünnhilde. The orchestra of the Vienna State Opera is conducted by either Seiji Ozawa or Franz Welser-Möst – at the time when they succeeded each other as Music Director of this honourable and particularly traditionalist institution. And let’s not forget that Nina Stemme won the Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Prize in 1993, and gained international recognition as Isolde at Glyndebourne in 2003, the year of the first recordings presented here. Since then, she has played all the legendary female icons such as Elektra, Turandot, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, and many other major roles in Bayreuth. A stellar career fully recognised in this album. © SM/Qobuz
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 27 oktober 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica
Soprano Pretty Yende made a big splash with her debut album, A Journey, which musically reenacted her path from small-town South Africa to Europe's major operatic stages. On that album she had both star quality and rough spots, and it was a matter of some interest to learn whether she was just a novelty or a major new voice. As it happens, Yende's second album, Dreams, does not answer the question. There is still the fact that Yende is one of those performers who just transmit; even in the chilly language of digital ones and zeroes, she has charisma. And in Italian bel canto repertoire she's clearly progressing. In both the more ornate Donizetti excerpts from Lucia di Lammermoor (sample "Ohimè! Sorge il tremendo fantasma" to hear Yende's control in quiet passages in the stratosphere) and in the more melodic Bellini, Yende delivers very fetching sounds. In the French music the news is not so good; Yende can't live up to the striking opening gesture in "Ah! je veux vivire" from Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, and her voice shows strain here. Still, most of the music sounds great, and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano "Giuseppe Verdi" under Giacomo Sagripanti has an ideally subdued way of accompanying her. The indications are at this point that the way to deal with Yende is to play to her considerable strengths. Just before this album's release, Yende pulled out of a Rome production of Fra Diavolo for unspecified artistic reasons. One hopes that vocal problems were not involved. © TiVo
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 20 oktober 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
At 52, soprano Angela Gheorghiu has lost none of her bite, none of her character, and certainly none of her voice, as evidenced by this album of melodies from the Italian verist's repertoire. Some are the great hits: "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca, outstanding moments from Cavalleria rustincana, from Ponchielli's La Joconde, but also overlooked pearls like La Bohème… only not Pucchini's, but Leoncavallo's, which is no less fascinating and much closer to Murger's book; or indeed Giordano's Siberia, now fallen out of fashion, and many others. After a global career punctuated by great heights, superb successes, U-turns, upsets and about-faces, has the soprano arrived at a level of peace that allows her to plunge back into this repertoire with a new eye? It's for the listener to judge: but they will surely not be disappointed. She calls upon the tenor Joseph Calleja and bassist Richard Novak for two great duets.