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Opera Extracts - Released March 21, 2011 | Naive

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released September 1, 2015 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The athletic Italian- (and Latin-) language arias of the young Handel, almost unknown to general audiences a few decades ago, have become almost a rite of passage for young sopranos, so it's no surprise to see the highly praised soprano Julia Lezhneva come along with a collection of them for her second solo album. It's an attractive set showing that Lezhneva knows how to play to her strengths. There are just enough of the big showpieces to prove that she can acquit herself fine in them (and indeed she has done the likes of Vivaldi very well in the past), but the majority of the program is devoted to displaying her rather uncanny silvery sound. Prepare for held high notes that seem to take on an almost mechanical quality as they're extended with perfectly consistent tone beyond what seems physically possible. Lezhneva does well to include the limpid Salve Regina, HWV 241, as well as several numbers from the little allegorical oratorio Il trionfo del tempo e del disanganno, HWV 46a, which has several reflective numbers including the familiar "Lascia la spina" (track three), an irresistible tune recycled by Handel later on. Sample that or the final numbers from the same oratorio (tracks 14-15), which are gorgeous. The venerable Il Giardino Armonico matches Lezhneva step for step, and there are several numbers in which instrumental soloists engage in difficult duets with her. An above-average Handel recital that serves further notice of a major new talent.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released April 14, 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
Carl Heinrich Graun was one of the most prolific German composers of Italian operas in the mid-18th century, though his numerous works have fallen into obscurity and are only coming to light because of research and performances by early music interpreters. This 2017 Decca release features soprano Julia Lezhneva and Concerto Köln, conducted by Mikhail Antonenko, in world-premiere recordings of arias from Graun's operas L'Orfeo, Ifigenia in Aulide, Coriolano, Armida, Il Mithridate, Silla, and Britannico, and a sinfonia from Rodelinda. True to form, Concerto Köln offers the fresh, resonant sonorities of period instruments, and Antonenko's direction brings great spirit to the performances. But the star of this album is Lezhneva, a specialist in coloratura parts and a strong champion of 18th and early 19th century opera. Her bright, heavily ornamented style of singing brings great excitement to these showpieces, and she demonstrates a technical virtuosity that evokes the age of Farinelli. Lezhneva's successes in the operas of Handel should translate into a revival of Graun's music, and listeners who have developed a taste for Baroque singing will find her sparkling performances captivating. Decca's sound is sufficiently clear and detailed, though Lezhneva should have been given more prominence in the mix.
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Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet
An organist (he worked with Gaston Litaize in Paris), choirmaster, and conductor, Diego Fasolis is a vital part of baroque music. In 1995 he founded the Vanitas ensemble in Lugano, and then I Barocchisti (“the Baroques”) which represents the refoundation of the famous Società cameristica di Lugano set up by Loehrer in 1961 to which we owe the first great recordings of Claudio Monteverdi's Madrigals. The ensemble took a great leap forward in its new incarnation under Fasolis' baton. The Barocchisti recordings have been showered with awards and great international soloists regularly come to collaborate with them, including Philippe Jaroussky, Maurice Steger, Max Emanuel Cencic, and, in recent years, Cecilia Bartoli who has set up a close collaboration. With Russian soprano Julia Lezhneva and Argentine counter-tenor Franco Fagioli, I Barocchisti offer us a particularly joyful vision of two of Vivaldi's vocal masterpieces, wreathed in the same slightly-naive halo as worn by the Madonnas painted in all of Venice's churches. The motet Nulla in mundo pax for soprano and continuo completes this radiant Vivaldi album with its image of an ideal world nestled in a comforting bubble. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released November 2, 2018 | Carus

Hi-Res Booklet
Of Zelenka's known works (roughly two hundred pieces) only about a dozen are not religious. And so it's no surprise that the catalogue contains heaps of masses, oratorios, requiems, psalms, litanies, Te Deums and Magnificats. He wrote all these marvels while working at the court of Dresden, where he spent the best part of his life, from 1710 until his death 35 years later. By all indications, the two successive monarchs he served liked his work a lot; but they were not his only fans. One Johann Sebastian Bach admired him enough to invite him to stay now and again, and to copy (or rather, to have his sons copy) several of Zelenka's works. His work would only come back into fashion after his death, thanks in particualr to the efforts of Smetana, who wanted to honour musicians of Czech origin, of whom Zelenka was one. The writing still shows great harmonic daring, stuffed to the brim with unusual chromaticisms in a great melting pot of national influences: there's North German counter-punctual rigour, of course, and Italian melodic flair – but then there is also something rarer: Bohemian and Moravian melismas, which are normally only found in the works of consciously "national" Czech composers, foremost of whom Smetana. Here we find his Mass of St Joseph, written in 1732 – making it a mature work of his – as well as some highly original psalms from the mid-1720s. The exceptional Frieder Bernius leads his his Stuttgart ensembles, the local Chamber Choir and Baroque Orchestra, which he has raised up to an international standard. This is the world's first-ever recording of this mass. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet
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Classical - Released September 1, 2015 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet
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Classical - Released April 14, 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet
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Classical - Released October 20, 2017 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released October 4, 2013 | naïve classique

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