Albums

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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 Magazine - 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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Opera - Verschenen op 28 oktober 2013 | Warner Classics International

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 4 mei 2010 | Cypres

Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Diapason d'or / Arte - Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros - Diamant d'Opéra Magazine - Choc de Classica
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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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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 25 januari 2011 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Diapason découverte - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 13 juni 2014 | deutsche harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Diamant d'Opéra Magazine - 4 étoiles de Classica
€ 19,49

Opera - Verschenen op 9 januari 2007 | Warner Classics International

Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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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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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 16 november 2018 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
€ 23,09
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 31 augustus 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik - Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
€ 29,99
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Opera - Verschenen op 1 december 2017 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The opera Dorilla in Tempe, which was first performed in Venice in 1726, exudes a delightful rural atmosphere. The libretto tells a bucolic story set in a valley of Thessaly. Between amorous twists and a huge sacrifice, the various misadventures of Dorilla offer Vivaldi the occasion to deploy a luminous sound palette where hunting horns and flutes often support choruses and soloists. He resumed the work in 1728, still in Venice, then again in 1732 in Prague and one last time in 1734 at "his" theatre - Sant’Angelo. Only this 1734 version has reached us, and so it serves as a basis for present recordings. It is a "pasticcio", for which Vivaldi used various composers - Hasse, Giacomelli, Sarri and Leo in this case - whose melodies replace some of his own; about a third of them are borrowed from colleagues in fact. It was never Vivaldi’s intention to recycle on the sly: the principle of "pasticcio" was the most widespread at the time and very popular with the public. The particularly rare vocal timbres are noticeable: they are made up of almost exclusively deep voices, including three mezzos and one baritone and even two deep castratos, nowadays replaced by contraltos who are much easier to dig up. The entire score gives off a mad energy; a delightful peculiarity adorns part of the opening, in which Vivaldi takes over one of the movements with his Four Seasons with the addition of a choir - proof that even though this music is rich at the base, it can still be further enriched, provided your name is Vivaldi! Diego Fasolis and his ensemble I Barrochisti offer us here one of the very, very rare discographical performances of this neglected masterpiece. © 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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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 5 januari 2009 | Naive

Booklet Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - 10 de Classica-Répertoire - Exceptional sound
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 3 september 2015 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
€ 23,99

Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 29 april 2003 | naïve classique

Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Choc du Monde de la Musique - 9 de Répertoire
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 13 september 2013 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
€ 26,99
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Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 1 januari 2007 | Chandos

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 5 croches d'Opéra International - Hi-Res Audio
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 1 januari 2013 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Diamant d'Opéra Magazine
Cecilia Bartoli neemt ons mee op een reis van Italië naar Rusland en vertelt over de ontwikkeling van de opera in Sint Petersburg. Door het initiatief nemen van 3 invloedrijke Tsarina's, Anna I, Elisabeth I (Elisabeth Petrovna, dochter van Peter de Grote) en Catharina II (Sophia Augusta Frederika van Anhalt-Zerbst ), werd de muziekwereld in Rusland nieuw leven ingeblazen. Naast het regelen van muzikanten, wisten de Tsarina's ook meerdere Italiaanse componisten aan te trekken als Franceso Araia, gevolgd door Manfredini en Cimarosa. In dit album brengt Bartoli verborgen schatten aan het licht van vergeten componisten als Hermann Friedrich Raupach, die van oorsprong hofklavecinist was en componist werd na het ontslag van Araia. Dankzij de archieven van het Mariinskitheater kon Cecilia Bartoli deze selectie operafragmenten samenstellen, waarvan een groot deel niet eerder was gepubliceerd.
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Operafragmenten - Verschenen op 4 november 2013 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
€ 15,99

Volledige opera's - Verschenen op 28 augustus 2015 | RCA Victor

Onderscheidingen Diapason d'or - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica

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