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Magdalena Kozenį - Mozart / Gluck / Myslivecek Arias
 
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Magdalena Kozenį - Mozart / Gluck / Myslivecek Arias

14 Jan 2002 | Format: MP3

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Song Title Artist
Time
Popularity  
1
6:01
2
3:43
3
6:03
4
2:50
5
7:35
6
3:23
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2:47
8
9:33
9
3:06
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4:40
11
8:42
12
3:15
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6:38


Product details

  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Copyright: (C) 2001 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:08:16
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001RFIRCA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 334,522 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kicek&Brys on 26 Jan 2002
Format: Audio CD
In many ways this is the standard recital that one would expect from a singer involved in this kind of repertoire on stage. Just a year ago, Susan Graham presented a disc with similar material, though Graham limited herself to Mozart and Gluck 'standards', while Kozena added four tracks of music by a Bohemian composer, Mozart's friend, Josef Myslivecek. Comparison between the two singers is not entirely out of place; Kozena's vibrant voice often reminds me of Graham's, though the latter is certainly a much stronger and more full-bodied instrument. Graham, whose gorgeous voice seems to flow more effortlessly and whose diction is much more secure than Kozena's, has all the makings of a master of vocal colouring, but she is surprisingly pallid, particularly in Gluck. Kozena has to work much harder (especially at the top) than Graham to produce this glowing tone but somehow brings much more life to her interpretations. I was complaining about her Handel disc where her lack of security resulted in some exaggerated recitativi and colourless interpretations of arias. Most of my quibbles disappear here. Kozena manages to sustain the dramatic tension impressively: she is less aggressive, yet more eloquent. She is also able to carry on the tension from the recitative into the aria itself and seems more comfortable with the language to colour whole sentences, not just single words. Still, she (and the music) would have profited from more relaxed tempi as her diction is slightly muddled.
Again, Kozena is at her best in slow, contemplative arias, such as the hauntingly lovely - and sadly rarely recorded - "Le belle immagini" from Gluck's "Paride ed Elena".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Baty on 20 Aug 2003
Format: Audio CD
Lots of sopranos and mezzos do Mozart, but not all have the subtlety really needed. Kozena has a Mozart voice and is near comparable to Kiri Te Kanawa. The CD has an interesting set of songs from composers with a connection to Prague and illustrates progressions in the Italian opera style from central European composers during the 18th century. Myslivecek is less well known and Kozena interprets his music and that of Gluck with beauty
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By Mr. Christopher Harris VINE VOICE on 6 Dec 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Magdalena Kozena is one of the best of the current crop of mezzo-sopranos and this is simply a beautiful CD. If you like this type of music, don't hesitate.
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14 of 25 people found the following review helpful By peter.copeland@ntlworld.com on 16 Jan 2002
Format: Audio CD
Before listening to this CD I was lamenting the lack of an upcoming "special voice".
NO LONGER Magdalena's voice is stunning, her interpretation sensational.
The tears rolled, the wine flowed and I left the world behind.
BUY IT!!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Standards and rarities from Kozena 3 Feb 2002
By Kicek&Brys - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In many ways this is the standard recital that one would expect from a singer involved in this kind of repertoire on stage. Just a year ago, Susan Graham presented a disc with similar material, though Graham limited herself to Mozart and Gluck ‘standards’, while Kozena added four tracks of music by a Bohemian composer, Mozart’s friend, Josef Myslivecek. Comparison between the two singers is not entirely out of place; Kozena's vibrant voice often reminds me of Graham's, though the latter is certainly a much stronger and more full-bodied instrument. Graham, whose gorgeous voice seems to flow more effortlessly and whose diction is much more secure than Kozena’s, has all the makings of a master of vocal colouring, but she is surprisingly pallid, particularly in Gluck. Kozena has to work much harder (especially at the top) than Graham to produce this glowing tone but somehow brings much more life to her interpretations. I was complaining about her Handel disc where her lack of security resulted in some exaggerated recitativi and colourless interpretations of arias. Most of my quibbles disappear here. Kozena manages to sustain the dramatic tension impressively: she is less aggressive, yet more eloquent. She is also able to carry on the tension from the recitative into the aria itself and seems more comfortable with the language to colour whole sentences, not just single words. Still, she (and the music) would have profited from more relaxed tempi as her diction is slightly muddled.
Again, Kozena is at her best in slow, contemplative arias, such as the hauntingly lovely - and sadly rarely recorded - “Le belle immagini” from Gluck’s “Paride ed Elena”. She is also good at more virtuoso pieces, like the military aria from Myslivecek’s “Antigona”, Argene’s aria from his “Olimpiade” or in some of the Mozart. My only serious problem with all this lovely singing is that I have to keep reminding myself that most arias here are from trouser roles. Kozena started with a rather low voice and trouser roles were a natural choice for her, so today it is hard not to sympathize with her when she talks with obvious excitement about the growing number of female roles that she is soon to sing (including Melisande). Her voice is so feminine that most of her vocal incarnations don’t have the necessary masculine twist. Some of them, with more neutral texts, like “Le belle immagini” work perfectly, others would profit from more masculine touches or at least from more energetic singing.
But if we forget about the ‘confusion’ of genders, it is a lovely, if not always particularly memorable recital. Kozena really shines in Myslivecek! She seems particularly eager to share her excitement about performing this music. One of the reasons may be the fact that those are mostly female roles which really suit Kozena’s voice perfectly. I have never heard any music by Myslivecek before and those samples here are nice surprises. None of them are outstanding, but they give a good idea of Myslivecek’s considerable skills which were apparently admired by his contemporaries, including Mozart. My favorite track (and one of my very favorites of the whole disc, next to “Le belle immagini”) is Sara’s aria from “Abramo ed Isacco”, with an interesting orchestral accompaniment. Here Kozena is really touching in her depiction of Sara’s despair. Argene’s aria from the 1st act of “L’Olimpiade” is a charming piece and Kozena sings it graciously, missing only some of the irony and bitterness that the text asks for. Actually, I’ve yet to hear irony and humour in her singing...
If I could redesign the programme, I would add a few more arias by the Bohemian composer (there were apparently 6 tracks of Myslivecek planned for this CD) and leave out some of the Mozart, especially “Voi che sapete” which sounds quite undercharacterized, though Kozena sung Cherubino recently on stage. I understand that young singers are under pressure from their record companies to focus on mainstream repertoire and only occasionally are they able to smuggle some dusty jewels into their programmes, so Kozena’s achievement - even as it is - is worth the highest praise. I don’t know what criteria decided the choice of the arias, but it would be particularly interesting to hear something that is known from settings by other composers. Half of Myslivecek's operas were written to Metastasio’s texts, among them “La Clemenza di Tito”. The fact is also mentioned in the booklet but with no musical illustration so we get two ‘Clemenza’ arias by Mozart, one by Gluck and none by Myslivecek! A real pity then! I can’t think of a better way of promoting the composer than giving listeners the opportunity to compare his settings of a text to those of others. But let’s trust Kozena’s musical judgement here...
The orchestral accompaniment is lively though at times more transparency wouldn't hurt. In general, all tempi are quite hectic, sometimes to the detriment of the music. It is well illustrated by Gluck’s gorgeous aria “Se mai senti...”, where the miscalculated tempo and lumpy playing deprive the music of its character. To compare Kozena's interpretation to Bartoli's is probably pointless. Is the quickish pace here the effect of an 'artistic decision' or rather an overreaction to the agonizingly slow (and murderous!) but terribly effective tempo adopted by Bartoli? It is a lament based on the metaphor of dying breath and the tempo is imposed by the words. Still, it is such a wonderful aria and it is great to hear it included in this recital. There is also rather routine accompaniment in the recitative to “Il tenero momento”, where the heartbreaking last line - simply rushed through - loses its power, but in the aria itself the orchestra and conductor redeem themselves with truly delightful playing.
A satisfying recital then, worth getting for the interesting new material (Myslivecek and Gluck), not so much for the Mozart. Maybe it is time to stop abusing Mozart as a vehicle for displaying the vocal art of almost every young singer? Some of them, like Kasarova, Bartoli and to some degree Graham, have left some memorable creations on their Mozart discs, Kozena leaves lovely (but undercharacterized) singing and surely to many listeners this will be enough... but would it be really against all the rules of marketing to fill this disc with more rarities? (Kicek)
18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A charming and extremely well-sung recital 7 Feb 2002
By Vincent Lau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
After winning much plaudits (as well as a Gramophone award) for her excellent recital of Czech songs, the young and beautiful mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena has managed to surpass herself with her latest release, "Le belle immagini", which contains 13 tracks of operatic arias by Mozart, Gluck and Myslivecek, a Czech composer of opera seria who was much admired by Mozart.
Kozena is described as a mezzo-soprano, although her timbre is distinctly sopranoish and her top register is radiant and free. Her voice is intrinsically very beautiful and it is basked in a sort of healthy glow (which is here enhanced by the clear and warm recorded sound). Her way of vocal production is unforced and free of contrived effects. Blessed with an excellent coloratura facility, her singing of the florid passages is long-breathed, liquid and wonderfully smooth (no aspirates) and she's able to bind the ornaments firmly into the vocal line. She's also very sensitive in her handling of recitatives (very important in this repertoire) and her embellishments (such as those in "Se mai senti spirarti sul volto") are always tasteful. Above all, she is very musical and her performances are vocally stylish and emotionally true and she receives wonderful and spirited support from the Prague Philharmonia under the direction of Michel Swierczewski.
By singing this kind of music, Kozena is now in direct competition with Cecilia Bartoli. While the Czech singer may not bring a similar degree of vibrancy and tension into the music, and that there's room for improvement in her Italian enunciation, hers is a more natural, sensuous and tonally ingratiating kind of performance, which I find no less involving.
This is a fascinating album which vocal lovers can't afford to miss. I'd urge everyone not to overlook this excellent and well-planned new release from DG. Those Myslivecek items, though unfamiliar to most people, are not mere curiosities as they are the work of a composer who, from this evidence, did seem to possess much musical and dramatic gift.
Do give it a try, and be prepared to be bewitched!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An early release by the 'mezzo-soprano' Magdalena. 14 Sep 2011
By Abert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Everybody 'knows' that Kozena sings in the mezzo-soprano fach. This album is one of her earlier releases on DG, and encompasses works by Gluck, Mozart and Myslivecek, the latter being more of a rarity.
Kozena has one of the most beautiful timbre singing today, and that chiefly is accounted for by her warm middle range and silvery top. She does have a bit more of the middle range than most lyrical sopranos.
That said, I seriously doubt if she is a 'true' mezzo-soprano judging from her singing in this early album. While she can manage the mezzo range in general, her timbre's best range does not lie in the standard mezzo range, but a lyrical soprano range. Certainly, she is no coloratura soprano - she does not have the upper range, though she does possess considerable coloratura technique.
But singing the mezzo-soprano fach, her lower register sounds by and large lacking in 'body'.
Indeed, it has been a full decade since she recorded this album. For her to fully develop her singing potential, she needs to undertake repertoire 'true' to her fach, and roles like those previously undertaken by Lisa della Casa should offer a good guiding principle for this much-loved singer.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
PRESQUE 10 ANS ! 25 April 2011
By PVP - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Cette production a presque 10 ans et n'a pas pris une ride.

La belle Magdalena non plus d'ailleurs.

Sa production est relativement confidentielle et les stocks sont vite épuisés.

La mezzo, bonifiée par le temps, fait l'unanimité de ses admirateurs.

Elle appartient au club fermé de ces belles āmes qui ne cessent de colorer tout ce qu'elles chantent, avec d'infinies nuances.

Ici Mozart, là Vivaldi, là du Bach... Ses récitals, au disque, sont finalement à l'image de sa personne : touchés par la Grāce.
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Much to enjoy with an eye to the future 7 April 2002
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Magdalena Kozena first attracted attention in a CD of Bach arias (which DG has not released in the US), followed by a critically acclaimed disc of Czech art songs and a recording of Italian cantatas by Handel. Her first solo operatic disc, like that of many of her contemporaries, is dedicated to the lyric mezzo roles of Mozart and Gluck. Kozena brings to this mix Josef Myslivecek, a Czech composer who seems to have fallen into the great 18th-century musicological chasm (i.e. not Mozart, not Haydn), despite compositional success on the operatic scenes of both Italy and Portugal, as well as a working relationship with the young Mozart (the oratorio selection from Abramo ed Isacco was once attributed to the young Mozart). Throughout Ms. Kozena brings to the music an instrument infused with alternatively mecurial and plaintive tonal qualities, youthful vitality and expressive spontaneity, coupled with emotional commitment, eloquent musicianship, and a vocal personality well suited to the requirements of 18th-century opera seria.
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