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

          
   
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  1. #1
    Schigolch
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    Opera/ art song recitals

    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...

    Last edited by Ann Lander (sospiro); January 14th, 2018 at 08:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    Mariusz Kwiecień: "Slavic Heroes"



    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.

  3. #3
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Great review Aramis. I think I'll get this.
    "Every theatre is an insane asylum, but an opera theatre is the ward for the incurables."

    FRANZ SCHALK, attributed, Losing the Plot in Opera: Myths and Secrets of the World's Great Operas

  4. #4
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    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.


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    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.

  6. #6
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    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    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.


  8. #8
    Schigolch
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    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.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); December 23rd, 2017 at 04:58 PM.

  9. #9
    Schigolch
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    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.


  10. #10
    Schigolch
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    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
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); December 23rd, 2017 at 05:03 PM.

  11. #11
    Schigolch
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    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.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); December 23rd, 2017 at 04:59 PM.

  12. #12
    Schigolch
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    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.

    Interesting.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); December 23rd, 2017 at 04:59 PM.

  13. #13
    Schigolch
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    Content:

    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”
    Sonia Prina CONTRALTO
    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.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); December 23rd, 2017 at 04:59 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Ann Lander (sospiro); June 3rd, 2019 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Link to video removed by Admin. Video no longer available.

  15. #15
    Schigolch
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    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.

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