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Secular Vocal Music - Released May 3, 2019 | PentaTone

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On her first album under the label PentaTone, Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená returns to her first baroque loves, collaborating with her fellow countryman Václav Luks and his excellent Prague ensemble. Both a harpsichordist and a horn player, Václav Luks studied at Basel Schola Cantorum before founding the choir Collegium Vocale 1704 in 2005, made up of ninety Czech singers and musicians.Titled Giardino dei sospiri (garden of sighs), this new album is a collection of scenes from secular cantatas or oratorios that glorify tragic love. The tragic heroes highlighted here in various pages of George Frideric Handel, Leonardo Leo, Benedetto Marcello, Leonardo Vinci, Francesco Gasparini and Domenico Sarro find in Magdalena Kožená a staunch advocate, who perfectly lives up to the task! A multi-faceted musical drama unfolds in our ears, which was initially created as a staged project.“From manipulative Agrippina, who would stop at nothing to put her son Nero on the throne, to magician Armida bewitching Rinaldo, and the priestess Hero who couldn’t survive her lover Leander’s accidental death, Magdalena Kožená brings the legendary heroines to life, with all the depth and virtuosity of her singing”, reads the introduction of the show Magdalena Kožená and Václav Luks will perform on their European tour in spring 2019. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Archiv Produktion

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Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Archiv Produktion

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Chamber Music - Released September 13, 2019 | PentaTone

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This is an album fit to satisfy the most refined and demanding gourmets. Magdalena Kožená and friends, including husband Sir Simon Rattle on the piano, have carefully concocted a programme of choice melodies for voice and various instrumental ensembles. Ranging from rarities (Chanson perpétuelle by Ernest Chausson opens the album) to curiosities (Arias by Dvořák, the wonderful Two Songs, Op.91 by Brahms with a bewitching solo viola played by Yulia Deyneka), the record takes in a series of treats (childish rhymes, Říkadla, by Leoš Janáček) and also affords us the precious Chansons madécasses by Ravel, an unusually lascivious and sensual denunciation of slavery and colonialism, and the very rare Three Songs from William Shakespeare, written in 1953 by a Stravinsky who had been converted to hardcore serialism by his friend Robert Craft. The excellent English soloists accompanying Magdalena Kožená show a little humour by ending this Soirée at the first rays of morning, with a transcription of Morgen by Richard Strauss for mezzo-soprano, violin and piano. English humour, for sure. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 10, 2021 | PentaTone

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Songs of love, longing and innocence. On this third Pentatone album "Nostalgia", Magdalena Kožená presents Bartók’s Village Scenes, Mussorgsky’s The Nursery and a selection of Brahms songs, together with acclaimed pianist Yefim Bronfman. Sung in Slovak, Russian and German, these songs on love, longing and innocence show three master composers transforming folk traditions into their unique musical styles. Kožená demonstrates her vocal mastery once more, and this recording with Bronfman is the result of a two-decades-spanning congenial artistic partnership. © Pentatone
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Classical - Released February 19, 2016 | Archiv Produktion

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From a repertoire which spans over four centuries, Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená makes no great secret of her love for eighteenth and even seventeenth century music, as evidenced by this new record turning around Monteverdi and some of his contemporary pieces. With her debut role of passionate and heartbreaking Ottavia in The Coronation of Poppea back in 2000 seeing her replace Anne Sofie von Otter. It is, then, only normal that she offers two great moments of this masterpiece, "Disprezzata Regina" and "Addio Roma", one of the most inspired and modern tunes of Monteverdi. Ottone not quite satisfying the mezzo-soprano, she also offers the final duet "Pur ti miro” of the opera in the role of Nero, and alongside soprano Anna Prohaska. Another huge Monteverdi piece with “Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clodinda”. Motets from Monteverdi, instrumentals by Marini, Ucellini and Merula; here is a truly beautiful album on which you will also have the pleasure of hearing wonderful baroque ensemble La Cetra Andrea Marcon. recorded in November 2014 in Sankt German Seewen (Switzerland) church. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | Archiv Produktion

Before the release of this disc called Ah! Mio cor!, charismatic mezzo soprano Magdalena Kozená had already made her mark as a Handel singer with her recordings of the composer's Italian cantatas and opera Julius Caesar, but this triumphant 2007 collection of arias affirms her mastery of the German-English composer's music. Featuring selections from the composer's operas and oratorios, this disc is more of a smorgasbord than a balanced meal with one highly expressive and supremely virtuosic aria following another and the only cohesion supplied by the performer. Clear, smooth, and warm, Kozená's voice is light in tone but with plenty of power behind it and more than enough control to guide it. In these 11 arias, Kozená channels her voice into interpretations that fairly explode with passion, despair, bliss, and fury. Given alert and dramatic accompaniments by Andrea Marcon and the Venice Baroque Orchestra, Kozená delivers striking Handel performances that will attract her fans as well as interest mezzo fans who have not yet heard her. Archiv's digital sound is crisp and cool, with the focus entirely on the singer. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Archiv Produktion

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Classical - Released January 1, 2009 | Archiv Produktion

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Classical - Released March 15, 2006 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

If your ideal vocal recording places the performer next to your seat and your ideal vocal performance has the performer singing directly into your ear, this disc by mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozená will be just about ideal. No matter what the repertoire -- and Kozená performs everything from Bach to Gounod to Shostakovich -- and no matter what the context -- and Kozená takes on everything from song to opera to oratorio -- Kozená is right next to the listener, singing straight into his/her ear. Given her exceedingly warm tone, her extremely rich delivery, and her extraordinarily sibilant pronunciation, Kozená's intimate delivery may be too much for those with heart conditions or those all too easily affected by singers. But for those made of sterner stuff, Kozená's performances here will be the stuff dreams are made of. From her intensely devotional "Erbarme dich" from Bach's St. Matthew's Passion to her wildly sensual "Les tringles des sistres tintalent" from Bizet's Carmen, Kozená is a stunningly impressive and staggeringly effective singer. Accompanied by a wide range of conductors and pianists from French conductor Marc Minkowski to pianist Graham Johnson and recorded in clean, fresh Deutsche Grammophon, Kozená is absolutely irresistible for those susceptible to her charms. © TiVo
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Classical - Released November 22, 2004 | Archiv Produktion

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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released September 6, 2010 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Capping a journey of some 15 years with Deutsche Grammophon, conductor Pierre Boulez completes his survey of the Mahler symphonies with this 2010 release. It is fitting, perhaps, that this final disc should include works from the antipodes of Mahler's career. First begun in 1884, Des Knaben Wunderhorn is a collection of songs written much in the same vein as Schubert and Schumann songs, favoring Mahler's much-loved folk-like style. On the opposite end is the Adagio from Symphony No. 10. Though Mahler only completed sketches for this movement, several realization have been attempted since the composer's death. The version heard here, more than some, captures the unique textures Mahler was able to achieve in his symphonic writing. For his final installment, Boulez leads the Cleveland Orchestra and is joined by mezzo Magdalena Kozená and baritone Christian Gerhaher. Boulez, orchestra, and soloists capture the playfully folksy melodies without trivializing them. The highlight of the album, though, is the stark, ravishing beauty of the Symphony No. 10 Adagio. After listening to Wunderhorn, it became apparent to listeners just how far Mahler came in his compositional language, with his progressive harmonies, fragmented melodies, and unique capability to wield a massive orchestra like a scalpel. Boulez's vision for this movement is consistently forward-looking, carrying listeners along for the conclusion of his long voyage. Even listeners who have not invested in previous installments would do well to add this disc to their collections, both for the magnificent realization of the Adagio, and Boulez's insightful reading of it. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released June 4, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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This album of three very different song cycles comes from a live 2012 recording Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozená made with the Berlin Philharmonic, led by Simon Rattle. It's a hugely successful recording by one the most multifaceted, expressive, and distinctive mezzo-sopranos of her time. From the first notes of Dvorák's Biblical Songs, Kozená warm, limpid voice and lyrical phrasing envelop the listener. The Biblical Songs are relatively reserved, understated settings of selections from Psalms that highlight the deeply personal, passionate interior focus the singer is capable of evoking. The songs may not be overtly showy, but they put Kozená's dark amber tone and the velvety seamlessness of her delivery on full display. Ravel's Shéhérazade and Mahler's Rückert Lieder on the other hand give Kozená the opportunity to cut loose and soar ecstatically over the orchestra. In the Ravel she sings with an appropriately Gallic transparency. She brings a sound to the Mahler that is both solid and refined and there are many moments, such as at the ending of "Um Mitternacht" where her voice has a shimmering radiance. The three cycles are stylistically diverse but heartfelt emotion is at the root of each of them, and Kozená gives voice to those passions with nuanced tonal coloring and musically varied delivery. Her singing is matched by the lustrous playing of the Berlin Philharmonic. Rattle is a sympathetic collaborator and is acutely sensitive to the give and take between singer and orchestra, particularly in the sensuous rhythmic fluidity and timbral translucence of the Ravel. Deutsche Grammophon's sound is so clean, present, and well-balanced that it could easily be mistaken for a studio recording. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Archiv Produktion

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Classical - Released January 1, 2008 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released April 21, 2014 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released June 10, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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The Verbier Festival in Switzerland has emerged as one of Europe's top summer concert destinations since its founding in 1994, attracting an array of top-level stars. This 2003 concert, recorded live, brought some of the hottest vocal stars of that year, as well as accompanists Yefim Bronfman and James Levine. The all-star format has advantages and disadvantages, among the former being the fact that a concert in Brahms' own time would often have included a group of singers rather than being a solo recital. The individual singers seem energized by the chance or necessity of catching the audience's attention in short sets of songs, and several of these are impressive. Bass-baritone Thomas Quasthoff was rarely in better voice than on the Five Songs, Op. 94, but perhaps the real standout is mezzo Magdalena Kozená, better known as an aria singer, but awesomely compelling and controlled in Feldeinsamkeit. On the other side of the ledger is the set of problems inherent in all-star ensembles: the two sets of Liebeslieder waltzes are unobjectionable, but also lacking the sense of amateur fun written into these pieces. The show was well recorded, and Kozená and Quasthoff fans especially will want this in their collections. © TiVo