View Full Version : Albums/CDs by individual opera singers (thread is not for complete operas)

December 23rd, 2011, 04:40 PM
Albums/CDs by individual opera singers (thread is not for complete operas)
This thread will be for discussions about and reviews of your favorite singers' albums. Not for reviews of complete opera on CD - the Reviews section is the one for that. Here, we'll be reviewing, recommending, etc, individual albums and recitals by singers, on CD.

Olga Guryakova is a Russian soprano, of the same generation than Netrebko, and I find her really good in this repertoire. I love particularly her Natacha and her Tatiana. However, her incursions in Verdi (Elisabetta di Valois, Maria Boccanegra) or Puccini (Manon Lescaut) are not really successful.

But don't worry about Guryakova singing Italian opera, this CD is very nice. And she is good looking, too... :)


December 25th, 2011, 03:39 PM

So, here's the promised review of new CD of Mariusz Kwiecień. "Slavic Heroes" contains of arias by composers from Russia, Czech and Poland. The complete list of names goes as following: Tchaikovsky (4 arias), Moniuszko (3), Dvorak, Smetana, Szymanowski, Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, Rachmaninoff (1). The title is not to be taken too literally - arias included on this album are not particularly heroic and consist mainly of the woes of love, with two or three exceptions.

About the performance quality: Mariusz Kwiecień is at his best here, with his rich, deep baritone voice in all it's splendour. It would be pointless to describe it here as it must be still well remembered by most of you from very recent Met performances. The additional, even if minor merit, is his natural and clear pronunciation in these languages. He is accompanied by Polish Radio orchestra under baton of Łukasz Borowicz - the latter may be not too well known world-wide but he is, despite of relatively young age, a significant conductor who already proved his skills and value by bringing many works, including opera, from obscurity, mainly by radio broadcasts. The quality of orchestral side is perhaps most clearly exposed in Szymanowski's King Roger fragment, the most orchestrally colourful and modern composition on the album.

About the music: apart from Eugene Onegin, all operas arias from which you can hear from this CD are more or less obscure and neglected, some have been commercially recorded under wings of big labels (Rachmaninoff's Aleko, Szymanowski's King Roger) but it may be the first time they are performed by such world-famous singer on the peak of his fame and abilities. A praiseworthy project.

Two arias by Tchaikovsky which do not come from his famous and widely appreciated Onegin may be a bit disappointing if one expects something on the same level as fragments from his operatic masterpieces, but are good on their own right. Other Russians: Rachmaninoff, Borodin and Korsakov are all represented with appreciable arias from their top operatic works, each of which may be impulse to reach for complete recordings.

The Czechs do not lag behind. Arias by Smetana and Dvorak, for a change, do not come from their most famous operas - yet both can be called beautiful. I've listened most of the album one track after another, Dvorak was the only after which I had to stop and sigh a little bit before going further.

Now, Moniuszko - I bought the album particularly because of his music being on it. And I wasn't disappointed. Next to two splendid arias from his two hallmarks - Halka and Straszny Dwór, we may also hear little, enjoyable aria from his forgotten comic opera, Verbum Nobile (which was, nevertheless, recorded and may be hear in it's entire form). These arias make the highlight of the whole album for me, not only because of my personal preference for Moniuszko but also because I find him to be most naturally operatic composer of all that have been recorded here. At the very end we got final fragment of Szymanowki's King Roger. At this point I can't help but to bring comparison with Andrzej Hiolski, a great baritone which is closely related to three of these roles: Janusz (Halka), Miecznik (Straszny Dwór) and Roger (King Roger). Mariusz Kwiecień may be the first worthy successor of that magnificent singer. Too bad that so far all we can hear from him are fragments of these operas (except Roger which he performed live in recent time).

The only flaw I can think of is package. The price of CD may be not extremely high, but it's not cheap either, yet it comes with soft box, easy to damage. Compensation for this troube is rather extensive booklet, with all arias in four languages (English, original, French and German).

I recommend this album to all fans of Kwiecień and especially to those who have interest in romantic Slavic opera.

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 25th, 2011, 04:02 PM
Great review Aramis. I think I'll get this.

December 26th, 2011, 10:57 PM
Ombre de mon amant, Anne Sofie von Otter, Les Arts Florissants / William Christie. Two of my favourite artists. French Baroque arias. A lovely anthology of arias by Charpentier, Lambert and Rameau from their operas. (It was on sale a few weeks ago, ended up paying less than USD10). ASvO tended to sing with a touch of vibrato and warmth that was much characteristic of her lovely mezzo voice.


January 5th, 2012, 08:22 PM

Here's one hilarious CD. Two Puccini's arias didn't hit me as some revelation but the coloratural (mainly bel canto) stuff is extraordinary. We get landmark at the very beginning - Una voce poco fa. I had no expectations and no knowledge about Kurzak's strong and weak points when played this album for the first time but right away I understood - high register acrobatics, coloratura is what she does so well that one has no questions as to why she's successful and sings with the best. The vocalises in Regnava nel silenzio never sounded so melting to me before. Last part of Sempre Libera was lustrous. And finally we got, among these well-known classics of standard repertoire, aria by Moniuszko closing the CD. Closing track must be special so album could leave good impression overally. It was courageous to choose this aria but it worked well because it's magnificent, beautiful and includes coloratural passages that let her give us some fireworks at the end of experience.

Recommended a lot.

January 23rd, 2012, 10:35 PM

I didn't listen to it but I'm writing this post so to warn everybody that it says that this album was produced by man named James Brown and therefore it may be too funky for typical opera listener. Think over before buying it.

January 24th, 2012, 12:57 AM
Cecilia Bartoli singing Gluck Italian Arias, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin (on period instruments).

A dazzling CD featuring Gluck arias - coloratura pieces, pathetic pieces and others mixed in between. She sings these pieces effortlessly, although probably with a touch more vibrato than practices of the period, but who could argue that as not being her artistic idiom? Enjoyable and played with much lively energy as usual from the Academy of Ancient Music, Berlin. These arias showed a good range of styles from Gluck as an opera composer stuck in between the Baroque and Classical periods. A few were of the older style da capo show pieces, while others were clearly of the more fluid and mercurial types that Gluck was developing and reforming as one of the pioneers.


January 25th, 2012, 01:47 PM
This is an unlikely album.

Renée Fleming is a great singer, but she is not at her best singing Italian opera, and less of all, verismo.

And I love verismo.

However, this CD:


made it for me. She wouldn't be able to sing well many of those operas live in the theater, and her style is a far cry from Clara Petrella's or Eugenia Burzio's... but it's really nice.

January 25th, 2012, 01:48 PM

Here we have a great compilation of this very good singer, blessed with a beautiful timbre, a perfect diction and an impeccable musicality. There are some little operatic gems, like the duets with a splendid Sena Jurinac, but the real treaure is the lied part.


January 25th, 2012, 01:49 PM

This is a box with ten CD, and some of the best Wagnerian singers of all time: Frida Leider, Margarete Bäumer, Johanna Gadski, Helen Traubel, Rosette Anday, Kirnsten Flagstad, Florence Austral, Lotte Lehmann, Helene Wildbrunn, Lauritz Melchior, Emanuel List, Rudolf Bockelmann, Alexander Kipnis, Hans Hotter, Carl Martin Oehmann, Franz Völker, Max Lorentz,....

Recommended for all Wagner fans

January 25th, 2012, 01:50 PM

A collection of several moments of Andrea Chénier, sung by different singers. This is the track list:

1. Compiacente... Son sessant´ anni / Ettore Bastianini
2. Son sessant´ anni / Riccardo Stracciari
3. Un di, all´ azzurro spazio / Giacomo Lauri-Volpi
4. Colpito... Un di, all´ azzurro spazio / Mario del Monaco
5. Credo... Io non ho amato ancor / Antonio Cortis
6. Die Bersi hat sich... Heil Dir, Du Süsse / Tino Pattiera - Meta Seinemeyer
7. Nemico della patria... Un di, m´ era / Titta Ruffo
8. Nemico della patria... Un di, m´ era / Tito Gobbi
9. Carlo Gérard? ... Se ancor di me / Carlo Galeffi - Lina Bruna Rasa
10. La mamma morta / Claudia Muzio
11. La mamma morta / Zinka Milanov
12. Si, fui soldato / Galliano Masini
13. Si, fui soldato / Aureliano Pertile
14. Come un bel di di maggio / Jussi Bjöerling
15. Come un bel di di maggio / Beniamino Gigli
16. Vicino a te s´acqueta / Bernardo de Muro - Augusta Oltrabella
17. Vicino a te... Vedi, la luce / Renata Tebaldi - Franco Corelli
18. Un di, m´era di gioia / Mario Sammarco

Recommended for lovers of verismo, especially of Andrea Chénier.

March 4th, 2012, 05:35 PM

Recommended by a trusted friend, I've just heard this CD from Polish soprano Aga Mikolaj, a former pupil of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.

The repertory is quite familiar: Vier letzte Lieder, Cappriccio, Ariadne, Countess Almaviva, donna Elvira, Fiordiigi...

This is a clear, attractive voice of lyrical soprano, better suited here to the opera pieces than Strauss's lieder. The best parts were the Countess Almaviva and Donna Elvira.


March 17th, 2012, 10:23 PM


CD 1

1. Pergolesi: Stabat Mater, “Stabat Mater Dolorosa”
Sara Mingardo CONTRALTO Gemma Bertagnolli SOPRANO
2. Vivaldi: In furore
Sandrine Piau SOPRANO
3. Monteverdi: Lamento della Ninfa, “Amor, dicea”
Rosana Bertini SOPRANO
4. Handel: A Song for St Cecilia’s day, “The Soft Complaining flute”
Lucy Crowe SOPRANO
5. Vivaldi: Zeffiretti che sussurrate
Sandrine Piau SOPRANO Ann Hallenberg MEZZO-SOPRANO
6. Vivaldi: Juditha Triumphans, “Veni, sequere fida”
Magdalena Kozena SOPRANO
7. Handel: Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno, “Fido Specchio”
Deborah York SOPRANO
8. Handel: Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno, “Se la bellezza”
Sara Mingardo CONTRALTO
9. Bach: Saint Matthew Passion, “Erbarme Dich”
Angela Kazimiercszuk SOPRANO
10. Handel: Radamisto, “Vive in te”
Sandrine Piau SOPRANO Sara Mingardo CONTRALTO
11. Vivaldi: La verità in cimento, “Se l’acquisto di quell soglio”
Nathalie Stutzmann ALTO

CD 2

1. Handel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto, “Se pieta”
Sandrine Piau SOPRANO
2. Vivaldi: Orlando furioso, “Nel profondo”
Marie-Nicole Lemieux CONTRALTO
3. Vivaldi: Stabat Mater, “Stabat Mater dolorosa”
Marie-Nicole Lemieux CONTRALTO
4. Porpora: Polifemo, “Alto giove”
Verónica Cangemi SOPRANO
5. Vivaldi: L’Olimpiade, “Gemo in un punto e fremo”
Sara Mingardo CONTRALTO
6. Vivaldi: Orlando finto pazzo, “Anderò, volerò, griderò”
7. Strozzi: Lamento: Lagrime mie
Anna Caterina Antonacci SOPRANO
8. Strozzi: Arietta a voce sola, “Miei pensieri”
Roberta Invernizzi SOPRANO
9. Purcell: Bid the virtues
Patricia Petibon SOPRANO
10. Handel: Theodora, “To thee, thou glorious son of worth”
Karina Gauvin SOPRANO Marie-Nicole Lemieux CONTRALTO
11. Vivaldi: Ottone in villa, “Gelosia”
Julia Lezhneva SOPRANO
12. Bach: Mass in B minor, “Agnus Dei”
Nathalie Stutzmann ALTO

The best: two hours listening to wonderful Baroque arias.

The worst: We have already heard most of this before.

But is a recommendation, especially for people wanting to be introduced into Baroque vocal music.

April 9th, 2012, 09:55 AM
Romanian soprano Teodora Gheorghiu with one of my favourite period instrument band Les Talens Lyriques under Christophe Rousset, performing some early Mozart and Johann Christian Bach displaying the galant idiom at its best.


This is some aria by Porpora, not from the album.


April 23rd, 2012, 09:56 PM

Ah! mes amis, quel jour defete ? Pour mon ame
Here I stand?
Cessa di piu resistere
Una furtiva lagrima
Il mio tesoro intanto
Je crois entendre encore
Pourquoi me reveiller
Di rigori armato il seno
Che gelida manina
La donna e mobile
Lucia fra poco a te verra
Kuda, kuda, kuda vi udalilis
E la solita storia
Dein ist mein ganzes Herz!

Spyres is an intriguing singer, but this CD is perhaps too conventional in repertory, not all really *his* repertory, to be of great interest. The most interesting piece is "Cessa di piu resistere". The French arias are beautifully sung, but in a rather bland way. Puccini and verismo are for the time being not his forte. Interesting the "Kuda, kuda" and acceptable the rest.

Overall: B-, only for Spyres's dedicated fans or people wanting to get familiar with the singer.

April 28th, 2012, 08:04 PM

Sandrine Piau, soprano
Les Paladins
Jérôme Correas, conductor

André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry
“Je romps la chaîne qui m’engage” | L’amant jaloux

Jean-Baptiste Lully
“Enfin, j’ai dissipé la crainte” | Acis et Galatée

Jean-Philippe Rameau
“L’Amour est le dieu de la paix” | Anacréon

François Rebel / François Francoeur
Overture | Scanderberg

André Campra
“Espoir des malheureux” | Idoménée

François Rebel / François Francoeur:
“Tout est prêt”| Scanderberg

Marc-Antoine Charpentier :
“A-t-on jamais souffert” | David et Jonathas 1688

Jean-Philippe Rameau:
Sarabande, 2 gavottes, 2 tambourins | Les Fêtes de Ramire

Jean-Philippe Rameau:
“Je vole, amour” | Les Paladins

André Grétry:
Overture | Le Tableau parlant

Charles Simon Favart
“Pauvre nise !” | La Bohémienne

Antonio Sacchini
“Que l’Eclat de la victoire se répande sur vos jours” | Renaud

Jean-Philippe Rameau:
“Viens, hymen” | Les Indes galantes

Sandrine Piau's long career has been mainly devoted to the Baroque repertoire, since those early works with William Christie. I watched her Cleopatra (from Giulio Cesare) live a few years ago, with René Jacobs, and she was superb in that role.

Her voice is sweet, attractive, of an almost unblemished purity. Also very agile, and with easy top notes. Rather small, too.

In this CD she is singing French Baroque arias, mainly from the 18th century, with a few from the 17th. Some of those arias are well known, but some others rather not, and undeservedly, for all of them are quite beautiful. Piau's performance is always good, rising to great in Sacchini's, Grétry and, especially, Favart's.

Recommended for all Baroque music lovers (especially of the French kind).

Overall: B+


May 1st, 2012, 06:35 PM

Roberta Invernizzi, soprano
La Risonanza
Fabio Bonizzoni, conductor

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741):

Opera Arias

Combatta unngentil cor (Tito Manlio)
Leggi almeno, tiranna infedele (Ottone in villa)
Da due venti un mar turbato (Ercole sul Termodonte)
Non ti lusinghi la crudeltade (Tito Manlio)
Rete, lacci e strali adopra (Dorilla in Tempe)
Se garrisce la rondinella (Orlando)
Ombre vane, ingiusti orrori (Griselda)
Fra le procelle del mar turbato (Tito Manlio)
Dite, ohimè! Ditelo, al fine (La fida ninfa)
Nacque al bosco e nacque al prato (Il Giustino)
Tu dormi in tante pene (Tito Manlio)
Gelosia, tu già rendi l’alma mia (Ottone in villa)
Se mai senti spirarti sul volto (Catone in Utica)
Dopo un’orrida procella (Griselda)

Just released (in Spain, not yet available in some other countries) this CD by the great Baroque soprano Roberta Invernizzi is a homage to the 'aria di capo' and one of his most important composers, Antonio Vivaldi (actually, "Rete, lacci e strali adopra" is from Geminiano Giacomelli). The orchestral accompaniment is provided by La Risonanza, based fundamentally in strings and continuo, with the occasional trumpet and horn.

Invernizzi is one of the leading sopranos for this repertoire, and it shows. Inventiveness, an endless capacity to colour each single phrase, precise coloratura,... Really a festival for the Italian Baroque fan.

Overall: B+


August 31st, 2012, 06:39 PM

Anne Schwanewilms, soprano

Jutta Böhnert, soprano
Regina Richter, soprano
Gürzenich-Orchester Köln
Markus Stenz, conductor

Vier letzte Lieder
Das war shr gut, Mandryka (Arabella)
Morgen mittag um elf (Capriccio)
Marie Therese! - Hab mir's gelobt (Rosenkavalier)

Anne Schwanewilms is a lyrical soprano, and one of the best options available today to sing Strauss. A great performer, that is only limited by her instrument at the high end of her tessitura, and the lack of metal in her voice, as well as the small volume she is able to produce.

The Four Last Songs are a real tour de force for the Straussian soprano. In Frühling, the more high-pitched of the songs, Schwanewilmsa doesn't meet the challenge. However, in the other three she is able to enforce her subtle approach on the listener, especially in a masterful rendition of Im Abendrot. Singing Arabella and the Countess she resembles Lisa della Casa, or Renée Fleming, what's to say a lot. In Rosenkavalier she is good, but the effect is limited by the subpar performance of her companions.

Overall: B


Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
September 18th, 2012, 11:21 PM
CD: Michael Spyres, "A Fool for Love," tenor arias.
One CD, Delos, DDD, playing time 63:04. 2011.
Constantine Orbelian, conductor. Moscow Chamber Orchestra.
The insert contains an essay about love, a paragraph about each aria, the lyrics for all arias in original language with side-by-side English translation, and the artistic biography of the singer and the conductor.


Track list:

1. Donizetti - "Ah! mes amis... Pour mon âme" from La Fille du Régiment
2. Stravinsky - "Here I stand" from The Rake's Progress
3. Rossini: "Cessa di più resistere" from Il Barbiere di Siviglia
4. Donizetti: "Una furtiva lagrima" from L'Elisir d'Amore
5. Mozart: "Il mio tesoro" from Don Giovanni
6. Bizet: "Je crois entendre encore" from Les pêcheurs de perles
7. Massenet: "Pourquoi me réveiller" from Werther
8. R. Strauss: "Di rigori armato il seno" from Der Rosenkavalier
9. Puccini: "Che gelida manina" from La Bohème
10. Verdi: "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto
11. Donizetti: "Fra poco a me ricovero" from Lucia di Lammermoor
12. Tchaikovsky: "Kuda, kuda, kuda vi udalilis" from Eugene Onegin
13. Cilea: È la solita storia" from L'Arlesiana
14. Lehár: "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" from Das Land des Lächelns

Mr. Spyres has a beautiful voice with agreeable timbre and shows good pitch control, hitting all the right notes in the right places, with a well-delivered vibrato and excellent diction in the various languages of his recital. The selection of arias includes some of the most beautiful tenor arias in the repertory, therefore this is a pleasant CD to listen to.

However the selection is also very conventional, with only a couple of tracks being slightly off the beaten path. There are two main problems with his singing. First, he courageously includes arias with very high tessitura, but while his lower register is fine, he loses power and color as he goes up, and ends up singing the highest notes almost in falsetto, which decreases the dramatic impact of the rendition - and unfortunately this is apparent at the very beginning of the CD, with "Pour mon âme." Second, his phrasing needs work. Many tracks, especially the French-language ones, lack emotion and feel bland and interchangeable, without true vocal acting. He does a lot better in the Italian-language arias, especially in "Cessa di più resistere" and "Di rigori armato il seno." His "Kuda, kuda" is very good, and so is the Lehár.

There is definitely good potential here, given more work on his top and on his phrasing, and there is a lot to like, such as the careful production of the insert with all the lyrics and translations, the beautiful music, and good singing in the above-mentioned best tracks. In a future CD, however, I believe the selection should aim at exploring less conventional arias, with attention to those that are a better fit for this singer's voice, rather than trying to encompass a large array of the most prestigious tenor arias.

By going for this collection of very well known arias, Mr. Spyres draws comparison with the great singers who have recorded them, and it won't be to his advantage. He needs to find his own path otherwise the selection feels unfocused (even though he tried to unify it under the theme of love - but this is hardly a narrowing approach given that most operas are, one way or the other, about love). One needs to design a recital from a starting point that resides in one's own voice, instead of engaging in a tour of the usual repertory. Such selection of blockbusters will please the general public (like I said, it is a pleasant CD) but won't appeal to more seasoned listeners. This CD seems like a wasted opportunity for a fine and promising singer, in need of some tighter coaching. I feel that he could have done better.

All things considered, I agree with Schigolch above: overall, B-

September 22nd, 2012, 03:03 PM
Mr. Spyres singing Baldassare's aria from Rossini's Ciro in Babilonia:


Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
February 23rd, 2015, 01:27 AM
Roberto Alagna's new CD, Ma Vie Est Un Opéra, was finally released in the United States as well, with the English title My Life is An Opera.

Here is the Amazon link: [clicky (http://www.amazon.com/My-Life-Is-An-Opera/dp/B00R58SP7U/)]

It's well priced at $14.59

I have ordered my copy and will get it on Wednesday.


In our recent interview which has been published Roberto talked extensively about this CD so I look forward to listening to it.

February 23rd, 2015, 03:20 AM
1. Il Turco In Italia: Recitativo: 'I Vostri Cenci Vi Mando'
2. Il Turco In Italia: Aria: 'Squallida Veste, E Bruna'
3. Il Turco In Italia: Cabaletta: 'Caro Padre, Madre Amata'
4. Adelaide Di Borgogna: Recitativo: 'Si, Vanne, Addio'
5. Adelaide Di Borgogna: Aria: 'Cingi La Benda Candida'
6. Adelaide Di Borgogna: Seguito: 'Se Grate Son Le Lagrime'
7. Adelaide Di Borgogna: Cabaletta: 'Temer Un Danno'
8. La Morte Di Semiramide: Recitativo: 'Sconsigliata, Che Fo!'
9. La Morte Di Semiramide: Aria: 'Serbo Ancora Un 'Alma Altera'
10. La Morte Di Didone: Intro E Coro: 'Misera, Sventurata!' - Coro Da Camera Di Praga/Lubomir Matl
11. La Morte Di Didone: Recitativo: 'Tutto E Orror'
12. La Morte Di Didone: Aria: 'Se Dal Ciel Pieta Non Trovo'
13. La Morte Di Didone: Coro: 'Fuggi, Regina, Fuggi!' - Coro Da Camera Di Praga/Lubomir Matl
14. La Morte Di Didone: Recitativo: 'Ingiustissimi Dei'
15. La Morte Di Didone: Aria E Finale: 'Per Tutto I' Orrore' -Mariella Devia/Coro Da Camera Di Praga/Lubomir Matl

February 23rd, 2015, 06:01 AM
http://s6.postimg.org/vhe7wh9n5/Lucia_Popp_Sings_Opera.jpg (http://postimage.org/)
Lucia Popp

I thinks this is my most played Mozart record ever .
Exceptional quality in every sense.

1. Il rè pastore, K 208: L'amerò, sarò costante

2. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Voi che sapete che cosa è amor

3. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Giunse alfin il momento...Deh vieni, non tardar

4. Le nozze di Figaro, K 492: Porgi, amor, qualche ristoro

5. Die Entführung aus dem Serail, K 384: Welche Wonne, welche Lust

6. Idomeneo, K 366: Solitudini amiche...Zeffiretti lusinghieri

7. Don Giovanni, K 527: In quali eccessi...Mi tradì quell' alma ingrata

8. Don Giovanni, K 527: Crudele?...Non mi dir, bell' idol mio

9. Così fan tutte, K 588: Temerari!...Come scoglio

10. Vesperae solennes de confessore, K 339: Laudate Dominum

11. Vesperae de Dominica, K 321: Laudate Dominum

12. Exsultate jubilate, K 165 (158a): Exsultate, jubilate

13. Exsultate jubilate, K 165 (158a): Fulget amica dies

14. Exsultate jubilate, K 165 (158a): Tu virginum corona

15. Exsultate jubilate, K 165 (158a): Alleluja

February 24th, 2015, 05:31 AM
It will be interesting as to what's on that cd. I'll pick one up no matter as I like the voice.

February 24th, 2015, 05:33 AM
I put my reply for Alagna in wrong spot sorry but thanks for tip. The interview of course will be nice to read too. Thanks,Luiz.

February 24th, 2015, 06:07 AM
http://s6.postimg.org/p81bsg3rl/capa.jpg (http://postimage.org/)

Another of my precious recital c.d's
Kiri te Kanawa on her best .

December 16th, 2017, 06:44 AM

1. Marfa's Song
2. Laura's First Song
3. Olga's Aria
4. Monologue of Lyubasha
5. Prelude
6. Polina's Aria
7. The Countess's Aria
8. Vanya's Aria
9. Joan of Arc's Aria
10. Konchakovna's Cavatina
11. Marina Mniszech's Aria
12. Dance of the Skomorokhi

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 22nd, 2017, 09:17 PM

Gioia! - Aleksandra Kurzak, soprano
Music by Rossini, Donizetti, Puccini, Mozart, Bellini, Verdi, J. Strauss II, and Moniuszko
Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana
Omer Meir Welber
DECCA release on CD, 2011
DDD - Runtime approximately 1 hour

This disc is an import from Poland, so the insert only contains a text in Polish and the track list. However upon ordering on Amazon for $16, the price of the physical CD includes a downloadable digital version that comes with a digital booklet that has a biography of the artist in English, French, and German, and the lyrics for all the arias, with translations in these three languages as well.

Tracks and duration

1 Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia / Act 1 - Una voce poco fa – 5:50

2 Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 4 - Giunse alfin il momento... Deh vieni non tardar - 4:27

3 Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor / Act 1 - Regnava nel silenzio - 8:34

4 J. Strauss II: Die Fledermaus / Act 2 - Mein Herr Marquis - 3:24

5 Puccini: Gianni Schicchi - O mio babbino caro - 2:22

6 Verdi: La Traviata / Act 1 - Ah, fors'è lui...Sempre libera - With Francesco Demuro - 8:27

7 Verdi: Rigoletto / Act 1 - Gualtier Maldè...Caro nome - 6:20

8 Bellini: I Puritani / Act 1 - Son vergin vezzosa - 3:35

9 Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore / Act 1 - Una parola, Adina - 8:37

10 Puccini: La Bohème / Act 2 - Quando m'en vo - 2:31

11 Moniuszko: Straszny Dwor (The Haunted Manor) / Act 4 - Do grobu trwac w bezzennym stanie - 6:38


I followed Alexandra Kurzak's initial career several years ago and wasn't highly impressed. I thought she had a light voice and her high notes were a bit strained. At one point I lost interest. These days, the singer is more mature, with her voice richer in the middle register after physiological changes of maternity and a few more years of experience, and probably she has engaged in more vocal work on better supporting her high notes. The result is striking. I recently saw a DVD of her singing Gilda, and oh boy, she has substantially improved!

So, I paid more attention to this 2011 release, and the embryo of her evolution was already there, because this is a very good CD. What is evident from the beginning is that Ms. Kurzak possesses a very advanced sense of musicality. No wonder, because she was a violin player from the age of 7, a piano player from the age of 9, and holds a doctoral degree in music. Aleksandra had no vocal training whatsoever until age 19 (explaining why she is a late bloomer), which was somewhat surprising because her mother, Jolanta Zmurko, is a famous Polish opera singer - but Mom always assumed that daughter would be a violinist and didn't bother teaching her singing. At 19, though, she suddenly, and I mean really suddenly, decided to become a singer. She studied for three weeks and presented to her local conservatory (the Karol Lipinsky Musical Academy in her hometown of Wroclaw, Poland) for an entrance exam, and to her mother's surprise, placed first! She then rapidly dropped the violin and the piano and started her singing education, with her mother jumping in to help as well.

So, from all this background, it is evident that Aleksandra is a master of the musical line and the dynamics. She uses pianissimo to great effect, and demonstrates exquisite musicality and the ability to act her character with her voice, which shines through even out of context like in this collection of arias. The interpretation is unique enough that even the workhorses sound compelling. The timbre of voice is very beautiful. Coloratura and thrill are no problem for her, with a voice that is agile and vigorous enough.

As the CD title indicates - Italian for Joy - the musical selection is on the lively side, with several numbers being uplifiting, but not always (we do get the contemplative parts of the first La Traviata act, and her Lucia aria although not the sad mad scene, is more excitable than happy). She does welll with these, but really shines when she is able to show her charm and playfulness in Una voce poco fa, in the Fledermaus bit, as Adina in her nice dialogue with the tenor (who sings well, too), and most especially, in the best track of this CD, the Haunted Manor bit (a delightful Polish comic opera). In her native language she cranks up the fun, and one almost regrets that half of the CD is not with arias in Polish. Almost, because she gives us pleasure basically in all tracks.

I enjoyed this CD and found it to be highly recommended. I'll be reviewing soon her Rigoletto DVD, which is quite extraordinary. Ms. Kurzak has definitely blossomed into a very compelling singer, and I look forward to attending in person one of her live performances in January 2018 at the Met (I have tickets for her Nedda in Pagliacci - stay tuned for that review).

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 23rd, 2017, 08:21 AM
A fabulous Polish baritone who I saw sing Simon Boccanegra in Lyon and was bowled over by his voice and presence.

Andrzez Dobber - Arias


Macbeth, Act IV: Perfidi! All'anglo contra me v’unite! - Pieta, rispetto, amore

Don Carlo, Act III: Son io, mio Carlo

La traviata, Act II: Di Provenza il mar

Rigoletto, Act II: Cortigiani, vil razza dannata

Prince Igor, Act II: Aria. Ni sna ne otdykha

Eugene Onegin, Op. 24, Act I: Vy mne pisali … Kogda bi zhizn domashnim krugom

Straszny dwór, Act II: Kto z mych dziewek serce ktorej (The Haunted Manor)

Boris Godunov, Act IV: Tsarevicha skorey

Parsifal, Act I: Wehe, wehe mir der Qual

Nabucco, Act IV: Recitative. Son pur queste mie membra? Ah! Fra le selve … Dio di Guida! - Ah prigioniero io sono … Dio di Giuda!

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 23rd, 2017, 05:13 PM
Oh, that's what it is! I thought we had one of these, looked at the reviews section, didn't find any, forgot to look in the Singers section!!!

So where is the best location? Do I merge that thread with this one, or this one with that one?

Whatever is easiest for you to do.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
December 23rd, 2017, 05:20 PM
I'm moving it and doing some clean-up deleting old and dead YouTube links and putting it in the index, will also do a redirect from the Singers section so that all individual CD reviews hopefully come here.

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 25th, 2017, 05:09 PM
A present from Santa and very good it is too.


Duets - Rolando Villazón & Ildar Abdrazakov



December 25th, 2017, 09:41 PM
A present from Santa and very good it is too.


Duets - Rolando Villazón & Ildar Abdrazakov



Those guys have a lot of fun together. Did you see them on FB pretending to be ballet dancers?

Ann Lander (sospiro)
December 26th, 2017, 07:08 AM
Those guys have a lot of fun together. Did you see them on FB pretending to be ballet dancers?

I did!! :D

Ildar Nureyev and Rolando Baryshnikov :applause:

December 26th, 2017, 08:40 PM
I did!! :D

Ildar Nureyev and Rolando Baryshnikov :applause:

He he more like dance of the sugar-plum heffalumps, bless them.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
March 4th, 2018, 05:34 PM
Anna Netrebko with Antonio Pappano - Verismo album


Simply gorgeous, Anna displaying to maximum effect her darker, fuller voice that she acquired after a few years now separate her from the light "...ina" roles.

This is a very beautiful CD, indispensable for admirers of this extraordinary singer (and everybody else).

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
March 9th, 2018, 12:19 AM
Anna Netrebko with Antonio Pappano - Verismo album


Simply gorgeous, Anna displaying to maximum effect her darker, fuller voice that she acquired after a few years now separate her from the light "...ina" roles.

This is a very beautiful CD, indispensable for admirers of this extraordinary singer (and everybody else).
Under the small risk of squandering my good stance with Anna (if by any chance her publicist or herself still check Opera Lively from time to time - rather unlikely, so removed we are now from her two interviews with us), I must say that I spoke too soon about this CD. The thing is, I heard half of it, got busy, couldn't continue, but I was so impressed with the stratospheric quality of her singing, that I posted the two phrases above. Then I found the time to go back to it and listen to the rest.

So, there are 16 tracks. I had listened to the first 8. Gorgeous. I resumed the listening with the 9th track, and then, big surprise: from there until the end except for track 15, Anna's husband sings long stretches. Well, I hadn't even noticed that he shared this CD with her - observe that his name is nowhere to be seen on the cover.

It's a disaster. Sorry, dear Anna, but his voice is unpleasant, raspy, thin, and his technique is poor. He simply ruins the second half of this CD.

Even Anna doesn't sing as beautifully in the second half. She seems to restrain herself, maybe even subconsciously. Maybe on some level she doesn't want to smother and overwhelm him. Still does, though.

Does anybody want to guess which track is the best one of the second half? Yep, track 15, the one where he is not singing and she's all by herself again.

So what we have here is a world-class singer at the peak of her extraordinary ability, arguably the best soprano in activity, sharing a CD with a very mediocre singer.

We all know that she would NEVER have picked such a weak singing partner for this important CD, if the choice had to be dictated exclusively by artistic reasons. The only reason why he is here, adding his substandard voice to this fabulous soprano's, is that he is married to the lady.

I wish Anna would stop shoving her husband down our throats.

There would be much better tenors to pick... Where is Herr Kaufmann when we need him? Or Piotr Beczala? Or Javier Camarena? Or Roberto Alagna? Or Vittorio Grigolò? Or Marcelo Álvarez? Or many others? Why oh why do we have to endure Yusif Eyvasov?

Ann Lander (sospiro)
March 9th, 2018, 07:13 AM
Harsh words but true.

Also Anna can guarantee bums on seats so she's able to request that husband comes too if she's engaged by a house. If you check her recent engagements, husband is often on the bill too.

Anna is singing Lady M and husband is singing Macduff in the forthcoming Macbeth at ROH. I have tickets and will report back.

March 9th, 2018, 08:16 AM
I heard both of them in Auckland at a concert and, while he is rather endearing, he is a can belto kind of guy. Not at all in her league.

May 16th, 2019, 01:48 PM


When this recital first appeared in 1975, Scotto had been absent from the catalogues for some time. She was principally known on record for her Butterfly under Barbirolli (recorded for EMI in 1966) and for Mimi, Violetta, Gilda and Lucia (all recorded in the early 1960s for DG).

Butterfly was her calling card for many years, and the recording has remained one of the most recommendable (though, save for Liu in the Molinari-Pradelli Turandot, recorded in 1961, she appears not to have made any further complete opera recordings for EMI until she recorded Abigaille under Muti in 1977).

She first made her mark deputising as Amina in Edinburgh for Callas, who, in poor vocal health at the time, had refused to sing an extra uncontracted performance that La Scala had tried to thurst upon her. That was in 1957 and it would appear that, though she had considerable success on stage, recording companies were not so quick on the uptake. She herself has admitted that she could be a bit prima donna-ish in a "my way or no way" sort of manner, until she met her husband, Lorenzo Anselmi, who, according to Scotto, helped her to become more professional, and think more about the music.

She was at first known as a coloratura, but even in the early 1960s, John Steane notes that her high notes did not seem to come easily and could have a hard and pinched quality. She also had a great success as Butterfly, the role in which she had made her Met debut, but it soon became clear that this was the only repertoire Bing would call on her for. He refused to offer her anything else so she was absent from their schedules for a long time, returning in 1974 to sing Elena in I Vespri Siciliani, under Levine who became her champion. For many years, she was the Met's house soprano, singing a completely new repertoire, which included Verdi roles like Leonora in Il Trovatore, Desdemona, Luisa Miller and Lady Macbeth.

This Verdi recital also marked the beginning of a new, fairly intensive recording schedule for her. In the ten years since her recording of Madama Butterfly the hardness on top has become more noticeable, and many of the louder notes above the stave are quite strident. There are however compensations in her musicality, her dramatic awareness, her deep legato and the firmness of the line. Then there is the added attraction of her attention to detail and her intelligent use of the words, though occasionally there is a lack of spontaneity. Art does not always conceal art.

There is a good mixture here of the familiar and the not so well known. In the former camp would be Lida's aria and cabaletta from La Battaglia di Legnano, a fairly conventional piece whose cabaletta is nonetheless energetically exciting, and which Scotto attacks head on. There is a slight suspicion that the voice is a little small for the other early works here (Nabucco and I Lombardi), but she has an innate feeling for Verdian style and the cavatinas of both are beautifully moulded, the cabalettas propulsive and exciting. The voice takes on a lovely melancholy tinta for Elena's Arrigo, ah parli a un core, which lies mostly in the middle register, though she eschews the written low F# in the cadenza, taking a higher alternative, and sings a bright and breezy Merce, dilette amiche. Best of all, probably because neither takes he much above the stave, are Violetta's Addio, del passato, the reading of the letter absolutely heart-wrenching, and Desdemona's Willow Song and Ave Maria, which is alive to every dramatic contrast, her singing full of anxious foreboding. Soon after this she would make a most touching Desdemona both on stage at the Met and on record in Domingo's first recording.

Some may prefer a richer voice for this music, but few who are more vocally endowed sing with such specificity, such attention to the meaning of the text, such musicality and appreciation of Verdian style. Where other sopranos, like Souliotis and Sass, can be accused of being copycat Callases, Scotto can be said to have absorbed the lessons of Callas without losing her own individuality. This is a very good recital.

June 2nd, 2019, 09:44 AM

Issued to mark the one hundredth anniversary of Schwarzkopf’s birth in 2015, this fantastic 31 disc set brings together all the recital discs Schwarzkopf made in the LP age with her husband Walter Legge between the years 1952 and 1974, adding the live 1953 Wolf recital from Salzburg, with Furtwängler and the farewell to Gerlald Moore at the Royal Festival Hall in 1967, in which she shares the platform with Victoria De Los Angeles and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. It is a considerable achievement, covering operatic excerpts and a huge range of Lieder and song, both with orchestra and piano. It is not quite the full story, for their was to be one further recital to come, made for Decca in 1977 and 1979, and simply called To My Friends.

A fuller review of this box set on my blog https://tsaraslondon.wordpress.com/2...als-1952-1974/

June 2nd, 2019, 02:54 PM
https://img.discogs.com/uTXF8tF6r7xSTDg5Z50qfFY5F1M=/fit-in/600x597/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():qualit y(90)/discogs-images/R-6913684-1429386276-1161.jpeg.jpg

This Handel recital, which showcases the talents of Natalie Dessay, concentrates solely on the music Handel wrote for Cleopatra in his Giulio Cesare, and even includes music he wrote but later cut from the full opera. Variety is provided, by the orchestra (the excellent Le Concert d'Astrée under Emmanuelle Haïm) contributing a couple of orchestral interludes, and by Sonia Prina as Caesar, whose contributions, however are restricted to a few lines of recitative and the final duet.

It is quite interesting to hear side by side, as we do here, Handel's first and final thoughts on certain scenes, so the heroic Per dar vita all'idol mio gave way to the grieving Se pietà di me non senti, whilst the lilting siciliano of Troppo crudele siete was dropped in favour of the intensely moving, and justly famous Piangerò.

Dessay is on top form, stunningly agile in the florid music such as Da tempeste il legno infrante, playfully seductive in V'adoro pupille, movingly heartfelt in Piangerò.

Le Concert d'Astrée under Emmanuelle Haïm, offer superb support. This is no replacement for a performance of the complete opera, of course, but nonetheless a wonderful distillation of Dessay's Cleopatra, a role she performed with great success at the Palais Garnier in Paris, shortly after making this record.