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Bel Raggio


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Music

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Photos

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Biography

Polish-born soprano Aleksandra Kurzak began her musical education at the age of 7, playing violin and piano. She studied voice at the conservatories of Wroclaw and Hamburg. She made her professional opera debut at the age of 21 at the Wroclaw State Opera as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. Her mother and teacher Jolanta Żmurko performed the role of Countess. Kurzak is a laureate of singing ... Read more in Amazon's Aleksandra Kurzak Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Jun. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B009ZOCO8I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,452 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Rossini: Semiramide / Act 1 - "Bel raggio lusinghier"Pier Giorgio Morandi 7:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Rossini: William Tell / Act 2 - "S'allontanano alfin!....Selva opaca, deserta brughiera"Pier Giorgio Morandi 8:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Rossini: Tancredi - Ed. Philip Gossett / Act 2 - "Gran Dio! Deh, tu proteggi il mio prode campion... Giusto Dio che umile adoro"Pier Giorgio Morandi 8:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Rossini: Matilde di Shabran - Critical Edition by Jürgen Selk / Act 2 - "Ami alfine? E chi non ama?...Tace la tromba altera"Pier Giorgio Morandi 8:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Rossini: Le siège de Corinthe / Act 3 - "L'ora fatal s'appressa...Giusto ciel"Pier Giorgio Morandi 5:42£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia / Act 1 - "Dunque io son... tu non m'inganni?"Pier Giorgio Morandi 5:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Rossini: Sigismondo - Edited Paolo Pinamonti - "O tranquillo soggiorno...Ogetto amabile"Pier Giorgio Morandi 8:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Rossini: Elisabetta, Regina d'Inghilterra - Ed. V. Borghetti / Act 1 - "Sento un'interna voce"Pier Giorgio Morandi 6:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Rossini: Il Turco in Italia - Critical Edition: Margaret Bent / Act 2 - "I vostri cenci vi mando... Squallida veste, e bruna? Caro padre, madre amata"Pier Giorgio Morandi 9:42£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

DEC 4783553; DECCA - Inghilterra; Classica Lirica Recital

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Klaudia on 13 Sept. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I only tolerate pitch and technically precise singers which I think is a prerequisite for operatic artistry, plus if one has a recording studio time then there are no excuses for bad notes! Hence, I am very impressed with this album: Aleksandra is pitch perfect, her voice is velvety, she can do brilliant ornaments which are 100% in style. No doubt this CD is a display of technical perfection. Her interpretations are very good, although I sometimes wish for a little bit more here and there. Her top notes sometimes get breathy, however I think this point is minor. The album is a definite must-have and I am sure Rossini himself would be proud of this rendition of his works. Go Ola!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Larry Lustig on 24 Oct. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Kurzak thrilled Covent Garden audiences when she appeared in Mathilde de Shabran and there is a souvenir of that on this CD. All the others are sung with a technical assurance that is exceptional wedded to a voice of a lovely colour.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. H. T. Webb on 4 Nov. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A fine recital of some of Maestro Rossini's finest. Very firm voice with no shrieking or wobbles. she can sing sotly where necessary and she gave a lot of enjoyed listening---rare these days.
Charles Webb Pontypool Wales
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ivor NICHOLAS on 8 Aug. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Perhaps at last we have a soprano who can handle the roles made famous by Joan Sutherland. This girl is outstanding
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
SHOWS PROMISE BUT WHERE WILL IT GO 30 Jun. 2013
By R. Olsavicky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an easy review. We have a major talent here; but where will it go or end up? I love Rossini and remember the major revelation that Joan Sutherland's SEMIRAMIDE caused in the evaluation of Rossini's "serious" works. I also remember Montserrat Caballe's ROSSINI RARETIES on RCA and the sensation it created and the want to hear complete recordings of those works. Therefore, I have high expectations of any Soprano who presents a whole CD dedicated to this bel canto composer. Here goes the review:
1) Aleksandra Kurzak does some very exciting things on her new recording; however, I have a few reservations.
2) Her coloratura is very fine and is the real thing. She is several leagues ahead of Anna Netrebko in that respect.
3) The basic quality of her voice is also pleasing. There is some color and bite in the vocal timbre.
4) Once in a while a note or word loses its focus and a pitch may be suspect here or there.
5) I'm not sure about her very highest notes. Many times she hits them and gets off them in what seems to me a hurry. I'm not sure how much longer she will have them or if she is not more of a lyric soprano who can currently do coloratura very well. Time will tell.
6) The baritone in the Figaro Duet just doesn't have the coloratura at all. He was a mistake for this selection.
7) The conductor: Pier Giorgio Morandi is more than adequate; but, I expect more. This may have to do with the Sopranoe's rather at times "faceless" interpretations. She only really catches fire two or three times in this recital. The Italians would want more "face" to her somewhat tame interpretations.
8) The orchestra is good; however, not World Class.
9) The sound is fine.
10) In Summary: a fine lyric Soprano who currently can do some excellent coloratura work; who none the less needs more identification with the characters she is interpreting. When she does she really is very good and enjoyable.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I love this CD!!! 22 July 2013
By Jim in SF - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Aleksandra Kurzak's first recital CD on Decca very much, so I was happy to learn she would sing Gilda with San Francisco Opera in the Fall of 2012 and she did not disappoint. Neither of these experiences prepared me for her new CD, Bel raggio. I have listened to it over and over since I received it. I buy a lot of CD's, so I do not normally spend a lot of time listening to the same CD more than once, but I just want to keep hearing this one again and again.

The arias on the CD are nice mix of familiar and less well known. The performances are stylish and the ornamentation is either less common than what one usually hears, or new and different. I especially enjoy her characterization in "Il turco in Italia" and hope to hear her in a complete version of the opera. The aria from "Tancredi" is also very well sung. I am eagerly awaiting her next project!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
(+) 17 Jan. 2014
By Abert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This CD, Kurzak's second album for Decca, selected nine examples that highlight
Gioachino Rossini’s sparkling virtuosic coloratura arias. The soprano, curiously enough, has already moved away from Rossini to the more meaty bel canto roles. This may be the sole reason why this album’s tracks display little variety in their characterization. Some pieces are better heard as recital pieces than as excerpts from the original operas, with precisely intonation, great agility and fine phrasing, such as the title track 1 . the eponymous aria "Bel raggio lusinghier," from Rossini's Semiramide. More dramatically effective pieces are the selections from Guillaume Tell, Tancredi, Il turco in Italia.
The aria from Le siège de Corinthe (sung in Italian - L'Assedio di Corinto) is a dramatic and serious piece, best suits Kurzak’s voice, being more dramatically affecting than other sopranos of this genre.

The scene "Tace la tromba altera" from Matilde di Shabran shows up Kurzak superlative pyrotechnique. The intonation in spitfire passages is staggeringly, though Kurzak approaches the top notes in an open fashion, she hits the runs and trills with great agility. The voice may not be classified as a distinctive rare find, with a slightly darker sound and slight grain than her silvery stratospheric counterparts, it is none the less warm and buoyant, with a good deal of bite.

The duet with Figaro from Il barbiere di Siviglia is perhaps not as involved as in other tracks, and the baritone is not an apt choice for the role. The opera Sigismondo has a clear ‘Polish’ element, while the excerpt from Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra is primarily a showcase piece.

Kurzak patriotically recorded with Sinfonia Varsovia and the Warsaw Chamber Choir, all conducted by Pier Giorgio Morandi. The same group plays stunningly for their compatriot throughout all 9 tracks, and though at one or two p laces slightly drowning Kurzak’s high notes with their some what breathy quality, overall the accompaniment is outstandingly done.

Anyone who seeks an appealing introduction to Rossini's music should consider Kurzak a sterling guide.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Rossini from a Polish coloratura 23 Aug. 2013
By Bruce A. Mcdonald - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This fine disc catches a "new" Polish coloratura in excellent voice, with good solid high D's and E's. The interview with her is very fine. She says that Rossinian coloratura fits her voice well (and it does!), but she says that she thinks she'll be graduating to "deeper" roles. Her voice is beautiful and, I think, a real "Violetta" voice, with the warmth and almost-lirico-spinto sound. She sounds like a wise soprano who knows how to pace herself, and I look forward to hearing more from her.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Marvelous!!! 23 July 2013
By Howard M. Bushnell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This cd is for people who appreciate perfectly beautiful and beautifully perfect singing. Kurzak is miraculous with her accuracy, control and clarity. Her voice has punch without ever losing its delicacy and power. What a marvelous instrument, what a superb musician. The ornamention is tasteful and absolutely delightful. Her abilities are astonishing and apparently limitless. This is a difficult disc to play straight through because I am constantly hitting the "repeat" button. How often do we hear a singer this wonderful, this perfect?? I recommend without reservation, and I will be playing it often. (Can you wear out a cd?)
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