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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Voice of Opera, 25 Feb 2008
By 
Mart (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Opera Proibita (Audio CD)
Opera Proibita (prohibited opera) continues Cecilia Bartoli's trend for producing `themed' albums, but this time instead of concentrating on a single composer - so far we've had Rossini, Mozart, Vivaldi, Gluck and Salieri - we have a collection of 15 baroque vocal pieces by Handel, Scarlatti and Caldara which all share the common, and perhaps unfortunate claim for those composers, of being written during the period around 1700 during which opera music was banned in much of Europe.

The album song list is an alternation between slow and fast arias and recitatives, and the style is pure Bartoli throughout, from the opening `All'arme si accesi guerrieri' (Attention fierce warriers) sung at such breakneck speed that the orchestra can barely - and to my ears the brass section don't - keep up, to the slow and beautiful aria `Vanne pentita a piangere' (go now, repent and weep).

This album perhaps more than any other by the singer shows off her virtuoso style of singing and astonishing vocal control, no better demonstrated than in Handel's `Un pensiero nemico di pace' (A thought inimical to peace) during which her voice achieves an almost unbelievable vibrato speed and pitch which defies belief. It really is a case of you won't believe your ears.

This flamboyance, combined with the restrained beauty of songs such as `Lascia la spina , cogli la rosa' (Leave the thorn, pluck the rose), makes this my top Cecilia Bartoli recommendation. For those accustomed to the lush tones of other mezzo-sopranos like Katherine Jenkins or the gentle singing of baroque girl Elin Manahan Thomas, this album will be like an adrenaline-fuelled rollercoaster ride around the exciting world of opera music.

Like many of her other albums, this one comes with hard backed CD size 60 page booklet with full track details, background information on the prohibited opera period, and illustrated with some nice Cecilia photographs.

An essential item for every opera lover and admirer of true virtuoso singing.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cecilia Bartoli: simply devine, 19 Feb 2006
By 
Amelrode (Vilvoorde) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Opera Proibita (Audio CD)
Usually I do not write reviews on music, but I got "Opera Proibita" when I was quite sick and for the first time in several weeks I could manage a smile as I heart this devine voice.
The music is fantastic: Handel, Scarlatti and Caldara - an utterly gorgeous programme. My favorite are Scarlatti's Cantata per la Notte del SS.mo Natale and Che dolce simpatia. But I have to admit that I always had a weakness for
Scarlatti! The Musiciens du Louvre under Marc Minkowski are a perfect match for Cecilia Bartoli.

And Cecilia Bartoli - well just devine. Nothingelse will do!

The more often to this CD, the more I like it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fllawless beauty, 26 Dec 2007
By 
Mr. B. Harvey "Mezzofan" (Stoke-on-Trent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Opera Proibita (Audio CD)
If you listen to this CD a 1000 times it will still be as exciting as the first time. Every track a gem. Impossible to pick a favourite one. Her producer Christopher Raeburn agreed with me at one of her concerts she is simply a TRULY HISTORIC singer. The greatest mezzo of all time?. A ONE OFF.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a treasure., 1 May 2006
By 
R. Lawrence (Queensland, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Opera Proibita (Audio CD)
This recording is both stunning and mesmerizing. It is a must-have for anyone who loves the human voice, even if baroque music is not your favourite. Every time I listen to this, I come away amazed by the beauty of Bartoli's voice, and her astonishing ability to make it do exactly what she wants it to do. Don't pass this one up - you'll be enjoying it for the rest of your life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars uplifted from the day to day, 30 Jun 2010
Wonderful uplifting music that sends you back to the 16th Centuary, Cecilia has the voice of an angel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opera Proibita, 8 Dec 2008
This review is from: Opera Proibita (Audio CD)
This is the recording that introduced me to Bartoli's voice. It has remained a firm favourite of mine, since I purchased it.

The repetoire chosen show cases Bartoli's technical brilliance and expansive range. The richness of her voice is also well catered for - particularly on the 2nd, 10th & 15th tracks. Another attraction for me, was the fact that, it contains some world premiere recordings - a must for a me, a big fan of Baroque music.

Also if you are new to Bartoli's work, & are looking for a place to start I would recommend this; without hesitation. It worked for me!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva La Diva!, 17 Feb 2008
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This review is from: Opera Proibita (Audio CD)
Cecilia Bartoli doesn't just sing, she uses her voice as an instrument and her technique is absolutely stunning. The selected works range from tender embraces to fizzing and sparkling fireworks that will leave you breathless. This recording is a perfect match of voice and orchestra and I can't recommend it too highly. Buy and enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilerating, 10 Feb 2013
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Absolutely heart-stoppingly beautiful. This CD by Cecilia Bartoli has introduced me to a wider range of baroque than I have heard before. Perhaps maturity brings an appreciation of the finer things in music. A must have.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recording quality is astonishing., 24 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Opera Proibita (Audio CD)
Fantastic performances captured by expert sound engineers.
One of the best recordings I have. You will love it too.
Recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful!, 17 May 2012
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This review is from: Opera Proibita (Audio CD)
Cecilia Bartoli has the magic voice which captive your attention all for her beautiful voice. This disc in particular it is a good compilation of the forbidden music composed in the Holy year. The best really!
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Opera Proibita by Cecilia Bartoli (Audio CD - 2010)
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