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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damrau the Diva
An incredible artist of our time.
Great arias sung by a great soprano.
I look forward to more of here performances here in the UK over the years.
I highly recommend this recording.
Published on 7 Oct 2009 by Ben Francis

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All the notes ..... but ....
The is no doubting the great talent of Diana Damrau and she has ALL the notes to sing this lovely music. But she does not have the vocal weight to characterise these Mozart ladies to the necessary degree. She is a truly magnificent Queen of Night as evidenced on her earlier disc and on DVD particularly the version from the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. I did, however,...
Published on 2 Feb 2009 by Sir Petey


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damrau the Diva, 7 Oct 2009
This review is from: Diana Damrau ~ Donna (Opera and Concert Arias by Mozart) (Audio CD)
An incredible artist of our time.
Great arias sung by a great soprano.
I look forward to more of here performances here in the UK over the years.
I highly recommend this recording.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All the notes ..... but ...., 2 Feb 2009
By 
This review is from: Diana Damrau ~ Donna (Opera and Concert Arias by Mozart) (Audio CD)
The is no doubting the great talent of Diana Damrau and she has ALL the notes to sing this lovely music. But she does not have the vocal weight to characterise these Mozart ladies to the necessary degree. She is a truly magnificent Queen of Night as evidenced on her earlier disc and on DVD particularly the version from the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. I did, however, like her Blonchen aria and the Servilia was good too as were the concert arias. Why not include some of Ilia's music or even Zerlina's arias on this disc rather than those of Donna Anna or Elvira both of whom are superbly delineated in Mozart's music but require bigger voices deliver the necessary characterisation? It seems that the music chosen demands more than she has in her current vocal apparatus lovely though it is. In my view it would have been wiser to feature Ismene's music rather than Aspasia's drammatic first aria (Mitridate). I recently heard Damrau as Gretel at ROH and she was excellent, a total joy. Lets hope she is not being ill-advised towards bigger roles at this stage..... there will surely be ample opportunity at some future date to consider these.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A talented singer - but a bridge too far, too soon, 16 Dec 2008
By 
Ralph Moore "Ralph operaphile" (Bishop's Stortford, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Diana Damrau ~ Donna (Opera and Concert Arias by Mozart) (Audio CD)
I can see that I am going to be out on a limb compared with previous reviewers on Amazon.com - but I notice that an Amazon.fr reviewer thinks similarly to me, so here goes anyway:

I was looking forward to reviewing this disc, having been impressed by Diana Damrau when I heard her live as Zerbinetta and, like everyone else, wowed by her Queen of the Night on DVD and "YouTube", where her rendition of that fiendish aria has had hundreds of thousands of hits. She has since declared that she will no longer be performing that rôle, but, judging by this collection of arias, I wonder if that decision is premature.

Undeniably, Damrau is hugely talented: lapidary precision in coloratura, no hint of shrillness in her top notes, absolute security of intonation, an assured stage presence and considerable personal charms - she has many sterling qualities which combine to make her a gifted singer of the modern type that productions worldwide cry out for. She is, nonetheless, still a relatively young and inexperienced singer and I wonder if she has not allowed herself to be pushed too soon into assuming the grander kind of Mozartian rôles to which her voice is not (yet?) ideally suited. I need to be specific if I am to make my case, and I am aware that some will think that I am being unnecessarily harsh, but while listening to the majority of the arias she undertakes here, I inevitably found myself comparing her with earlier, favourite artists, as I felt that there was something wanting.

Let's start with Pamina's aria from "Die Zauberflöte. I reached for three other versions for the purposes of comparison: one by Gundula Janowitz (a hissy, venerable 1964 recording with Klemperer conducting), one by Barbara Bonney (her 1992 recording on a recital disc), and a third by Barbara Hendricks (the complete 1991 set conducted by Mackerras). These performances vary hugely in speed, ranging from a pacy 2'28" with Mackerras to a leisurely 4'09" with Klemperer. Bonney comes in at 3'26, so Damrau's 3'59" is also quite relaxed, yet compared with the Klemperer/Janowitz version it seems to drag and plod; there is little feel for rubato or flexibility of phrasing in Rhorer's conducting. By comparison, Mackerras (Hendricks) and Östman (Bonney) ought to sound as if they are galloping through the aria, but, on the contrary, they simply sound natural and unforced; their singers are able to phrase sensitively and project a real personality. Janowitz' Pamina, in any case, is sung with such heavenly phrasing and tone that we do not notice how long Klemperer takes over it. Nor is it a question of period style versus modern instruments; Östman directs a period band whereas Klemperer has the LPO and both are equally successful in their way. I find myself subconsciously disconcerted by Rhorer's use of "correct" original lower pitch for all the arias in this recording; once you have heard Janowitz float her B flat, Damrau's equivalent note, pitched somewhere around a quarter tone lower, sounds distinctly flat, being closer to a modern A - but that might not necessarily bother others. Finally, it is a question of quality of voice. All of the other ladies I use for the purposes of comparison, have, to my ears, a greater intrinsic beauty of sound, more individuality of utterance, more variety in tone, dynamics and vocal colouring. Each seems to do a better job bringing Pamina alive and gives her what the late "Gramophone" critic Alan Blyth used to call more "face".

It follows naturally that if Damrau is somewhat outshone by her predecessors as Pamina, then it is still less likely that she will be a satisfactory Countess, Donna Anna, Donna Elvira or Vitellia- and so it proves. She simply hasn't the breadth and heft of voice to sing these deceptively demanding rôles. She can sing all the notes but essentially trills her way through them as if she hasn't really digested the music. Most of the time, whatever she is singing, she sounds like a Susanna - which, along with her Constanze, the arias from the early operas and the two concert arias, form by far the most successful portion of this recital. Damrau is essentially still a light lyric soprano with a voice too small of scale to rival, say, Renee Fleming, Martina Arroyo or Eleanor Steber in the "grande dame" rôles in Mozart opera. I took down Dame Janet Baker's assumption of Vitellia to reassure myself that I was not being unfair to Damrau - and there I found the attack, the variety of colour, plaintiveness of phrasing, richness of lower register and, above all, the ability to use coloratura to enhance emotion - all of which are lacking, or present to a lesser degree, in Damrau's singing of "Non piu di fiori". She certainly makes it sound easy, but she rarely moves us. Her Donna Anna is young and vulnerable but ultimately forgettable; even when she is singing Susanna, her characterisation pales in comparison with a singer such as Lucia Popp. In truth, I was bored by much of this recital, despite her accomplishment.

Le Cercle de l'Harmonie is certainly a talented band; they play with verve, accuracy and technical brilliance but Rohrer seems to favour extremes: they are sometimes driven too hard and at others seem too relaxed.

I am reminded of an anecdote from Beverley Sills' autobiography in which that celebrated singer remarked that she did not think Norma was that difficult a role and that some lines in "Norma" always made her "want to giggle". This, her stern detractors remarked, explains her lack of proper commitment and gravitas as Norma. I do not say that Damrau is guilty of such flippancy, but I wonder whether she has not fallen into the trap of severely under-estimating the challenge of the grander arias she has undertaken here. She is a major talent but this CD represents, for me, a bridge too far, too soon.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!, 2 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Diana Damrau ~ Donna (Opera and Concert Arias by Mozart) (Audio CD)
Perfect quality. I received this promptly and the album is very nice! Amazing voice, for lovers of Katherine Jenkins and other soprano singers.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 11 Nov 2008
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C. Tortise (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Diana Damrau ~ Donna (Opera and Concert Arias by Mozart) (Audio CD)
Another stunner of an album by this cult soprano from Germany. Every track is a highlight, and a showcase of her amazing vocal ability. Buy it as soon as you can...
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