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Chamber Music - Released October 6, 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
This is a gentle kind of duet, which sets up Cecilia Bartoli "opposite" cellist Sol Gabetta, if we can speak of "opposition". The two stars chose a few airs out of the baroque repertoire where the composers have included a part for cello, and the two lines intertwine against the backdrop of the continuo or the orchestra. Albinoni, Caldara, Haendel and many others have often married the cello's deep voice with the light, airy tones of the soprano in a game of mirrors, contrasts, and "he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not”... This highly original billing benefits not only from the duettists' clear talents, but also the involvement of the Capella Gabetta led by the violinist Andrés Gabetta - to be sure, in the duets of old it wasn't the done thing for other performers to get involved, but in this instance, it adds up to a perfect balance. It's certainly not the end of the world - or of this duet! This album, highly original, is one of September's nicest surprises.

Opera Extracts - Released January 1, 2007 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions Choc du Monde de la Musique - Diapason d'or / Arte - RTL d'Or - Diamant d'Opéra
In this tribute to the great nineteenth century mezzo-soprano, Maria Malibran, Cecilia Bartoli sings selections from the repertoire for which Malibran was known. Malibran also ventured into soprano roles, and Bartoli bravely and entirely successfully follows her into that territory. In fact, the primary impression the CD creates is astonishment and awe at the extraordinary range of these selections, and Bartoli's ease, absolute security, and seamless delivery, from above the treble staff to the middle of the bass staff. Hummel's Air à la Tirolienne avec variations may not be a musical masterpiece, but as a showcase for Bartoli's range, dizzying coloratura, and yodeling ability, it is breathtaking. The collection is made up of much music written especially for Malibran, and besides giving Bartoli a chance to dazzle, the pieces are irrefutable testimony to how remarkable an artist Malibran must have been. Some of the most striking pieces are the recitative and aria from her father's opera La Figlia dell'aria, a concert scena and aria by Mendelssohn, and a song by Malibran herself, which requires both a command of extended vocal techniques and a sense of humor, and Bartoli brings it off with panache. One of the strengths of the collection is its inclusion of so much repertoire that's virtually unknown today. Only three excerpts from Bellini operas and one by Rossini are likely to be familiar to most opera lovers. Bartoli's "Casta Diva" is a marvel of purity, restraint, and emotional vulnerability, and is by itself worth the price of the album. Adam Fischer conducts Orchestra La Scintilla in lively accompaniments to Bartoli's vibrant and supple performances. The CD should be of strong interest to any fans of early nineteenth century coloratura repertoire. © TiVo

Opera Extracts - Released November 23, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 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

Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Hi-Res Audio
Performed on early 19th century instruments and presented with brisk tempos, bright tone colors, and a lean ensemble sound, this 2013 Decca recording of Vincenzo Bellini's tragic opera Norma strives to re-create the authentic vocal style and instrumental sonorities that would have been heard at its premiere. This reading is based on a critical study of the manuscript and other sources by Maurizio Biondi and Riccardo Minasi. To the extent that Cecilia Bartoli is able to re-create the historical role of Norma and remove the modern associations that came with time (especially from the 20th century performances by Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, and Montserrat Caballé), she impresses with a lighter voiced and agile heroine who is wholly believable in this highly florid bel canto role. Bartoli is joined by Sumi Jo as Adalgisa, John Osborn as Pollione, and Michele Pertusi as Oroveso, and this cast was chosen to match their vocal qualities and to create expressive balance. The Orchestra La Scintilla is conducted by Giovanni Antonini, who communicates a lively and sometimes pugnacious interpretation of the score, notably in the incisive playing of the winds and timpani. While there is much to praise in this recording, purists may raise an eyebrow over the lowered pitch of the entire opera, tuned to A430. Furthermore, they may be disturbed by the unexpected modulation at the opening of "Casta diva" and myriad embellishments in its second verse, where Bartoli imitates the dazzling effects that were expected of a singer in Bellini's day. However, a real drawback is the sound of the recording, which was made in a church, necessitating extremely close microphone placement and audio enhancements that sound artificially mixed. Even so, considering the merits of Bartoli's bold reassessment of this time-honored role, and the complete rethinking of performance practices to bring them in line with the latest scholarship, this recording deserves a serious hearing, even if it doesn't win over all traditionalists or replace cherished performances from the past. © TiVo

Opera Extracts - Released January 1, 2013 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Diamant d'Opéra
Cecilia Bartoli takes us on a journey leading from Italy to Russia which traces the development of opera in St. Petersburg. Through the actions of three powerful Tsarists, the previously non-existent musical life of the entire nation was awoken: Anna of Russia (Anna Ivanovna), Elizabeth I (Elizabeth Petrovna, daughter of Peter the Great) and Catherine II (Sophia Augusta Frederica of Anhalt-Zerbst). In addition to attracting performers, they also attracted many Italian composers, the first of whom would be Francesco Araia, followed by Manfredini and Cimarosa, among others. The program of this album follows original themes adored by Bartoli herself, and includes some long lost treasures by other composers such as Hermann Friedrich Raupach - the first harpsichordist and composer of the court following the dismissal of Araia. It is by sifting through the archives of the Mariinsky Theatre that Cecilia Bartoli has gathered this anthology opera excerpts, most of which are previously unpublished.

Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio

Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 1, 2009 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet Distinctions Diapason découverte - Choc de Classica
It has been a long three years since Cecilia Bartoli's previous release, Maria, brought nineteenth century coloratura Maria Malibran into the public consciousness. Decca's Sacrificium -- which reunites Bartoli with expert period band Il Giardino Armonico for the first time since 1999's The Vivaldi Album -- certainly makes clear that it was well worth the wait. In keeping with her long series of themed collections of opera arias, in this release Bartoli explores literature associated with the long lost vocal range of the castrati, male singers who were surgically altered in puberty in order to retain the high end of their voices into adulthood. The outlawing of castrati in Italy in 1870 brought this vicious practice to an end, but it also condemned two centuries' worth of operatic and sacred music to obscurity owing to the unsuitability of ordinary voices to sing in this special range; since then, a number of male countertenors have come to grips with it, with varying degrees of success, and an increasing number of females -- usually altos -- have been adopting castrato literature, as well. Bartoli -- a mezzo-soprano -- has got an amazing top end, well demonstrated in the earlier Maria release, but here she exhibits the bottom of her range to stunning effect; at one point when she dips down low in Francesco Araia's aria "Cadrò, ma qual si mira," Bartoli sounds like a man. While there are plenty of male singers who can approximate female voice, for it to go the other way around is indeed rare. Also rare are the 12 selections on the main disc, every one of them a premiere recording of some kind. Bartoli has long established herself as an advocate for neglected or little known literature, and there is such a wealth of unused castrato literature that coming by such material probably wasn't difficult, but it also seems the album's producers were quite careful in finding examples that were representative of the theme, musically challenging for Bartoli and of generally excellent quality; even Il Giardino Armonico gets a great workout in "Nobil onda," an aria from Nicola Porpora's 1723 opera Adelaide. It is Porpora who emerges from this material as the champion composer for castrati, which is gratifying; an increasing number of Porpora releases in the times leading up to Sacrificium makes clear that he was one of the greats among Western composers and it's nice to see a major label like Decca pay some homage to him. However, Sacrificium's compilers have not lost sight of the unique talents of the star performer; no one would accuse Porpora's "Usignolo sventurato" from the opera Siface as being a great aria, with its limited range and texture. However, Bartoli's sensuous delivery and bold characterization of the piece makes something very special out of it, a major highlight of the program. Bartoli's voice is of a quality that cuts through the veils of history and delivers this obscure music with absolute perfection; Decca's Sacrificium should easily please all comers. © TiVo

Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année

Secular Vocal Music - Released November 29, 2019 | Decca

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte
She had to dare. Cecilia Bartoli appears on this album cover nude, androgynous, in a full beard and with hair down to her shoulders, delving deeper into the legend surrounding Farinelli, already explored with questionable sensationalism in the world of cinema and replaced with more correct historical precision in Patrick Barbier's brilliant book dedicated to the famous Neapolitan castrato. The now-lost voice of castratos made eager crowds go wild at the time, the singers carrying a certain mythical aura around them, attributed to the confusion of their gender, bathed in an ambiguous eroticism. These music lovers have not however disappeared: they're the ones rushing to hear the Italian singer's vocal prowess both in concert and on disc. For this opus dedicated to Farinelli, Cecilia Bartoli has chosen well-known melodies from the repertoire of the famous singer, varying her vocal fireworks she is so renowned for with some more dramatic, introspective tunes. Cecilia Bartoli conjures up Porpora, Hasse, Giacomelli, Caldara and Riccardo Broschi, Farinelli's own brother in a thrilling spectacle which aims, if not to uncover a hypothetical voice of the past, to replicate the chills it could produce thanks to her passion and dedication to the art. © François Hudry/Qobuz

Classical - Released October 16, 2000 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice

Classical - Released January 1, 1991 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Classical - Released January 1, 1989 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions 5 de Diapason

Classical - Released November 27, 2020 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet

Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Decca Music Group Ltd.


Classical - Released August 2, 1993 | Decca Music Group Ltd.


Classical - Released January 1, 1992 | Decca Music Group Ltd.


Classical - Released January 1, 1999 | Decca Music Group Ltd.


Classical - Released January 1, 1998 | Decca Music Group Ltd.


Classical - Released March 9, 1998 | Decca Music Group Ltd.


Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Decca Music Group Ltd.


Cecilia Bartoli in the magazine
  • Bartoli is Farinelli
    Bartoli is Farinelli For her new album, the mezzo-soprano revisits the best parts of the repertoire of the famous Italian castrato: magical!
  • The Qobuz Minute: Christmas Special 2014
    The Qobuz Minute: Christmas Special 2014 This week's Qobuz Minute is a special Christmas edition, including: the new Qobuz apps for iOS and Android, the best of 2014, and the Qobuz team's favourite albums of the year.
  • Cecilia Bartoli : Qobuz video interview
    Cecilia Bartoli : Qobuz video interview Qobuz meets the wonderful mezzo-soprano from Rome to mark the release of her record St. Petersburg. The album is devoted to the hidden treasures composed in Saint-Petersburg during the 18th century...
  • The Qobuz Minute #22
    The Qobuz Minute #22 Presented by Barry Moore, The Qobuz Minute sweeps you away to the 4 corners of the musical universe to bring you an eclectic mix of today's brightest talents. Jazz, Electro, Classical, World music ...