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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Vivaldi, alongside the virtuosic.,
This review is from: Vivaldi (Audio CD)In the early 1990's Italian mezzo Cecilia Bartoli started to revive the early baroque operatic works of Antonio Vivaldi. Since then, numerous ensembles and vocalists came to specialise in works of this composer, and his hitherto unknown or `lost' operas revived.
Magdalena Kozena's venture into this composer is by no means pioneering.
That said, this Vivaldi album does have its own credits, as it showcases the mezzo's gently lyrical qualities as much as her virtuosic skills. The more virtuosic "Armatae face" from the oratorio Juditha Triumphans was sung by a soprano in its premiere. It has never been a castrato piece. The two arias from La Verit'in Cimento are more lyrical in nature, and Kozena's singing is aptly mellifluous and melodic. `Sol da te, mio dolce amore' from Orlando Furioso as well as `Forse o caro in questi accenti' from Il Farnace are more nostalgic, and the pathos are well-brought out with affectation. The other `Nel Profondo' on the other hand showcases fierce Vivaldian virtuosic feats, while `Gelido in ogni vena' from Il Farnace, `Ander Voler grider' from L'Orlando finto pazzo and Griselda's `Ho il cor gia A lacero' echo the `Four Seasons'. Kozena is able to toss these pieces off with precision of articulation and beautiful enunciation. Musicality is never sacrificed for the sake of virtuosity.
`Tornar voglio al primo ardore' from Arsilda is perhaps the emotionally most affecting piece in the collection, and Kozena's timbre brings much subtle expressiveness required here. Ottone's piece `Misero spirto mio' is perhaps the most demanding piece technically to pull off, but Kozena skims over the dynamics and tempi variations with real ease and bravura.
All in all, a tremendously successful recital in the different facets of Vivaldi.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivaldi and Magdalena at their operatic best,
This review is from: Vivaldi (Audio CD)A lovely collection of Vivaldi opera and vocal pieces by Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena, partner of Sir Simon Rattle.
This is a refreshing change from the familiar Vivaldi works such as Gloria, and is a great opportunity to explore some excerpts from the 20 or so surviving Vivaldi operas, 9 of which are represented here: Arsilda regina di ponto, Tito Manlio, La verita in cimento, Oralando furioso, Ottone in villa, Griselda, L'incoronazione di Dario, Orlando finto pazzo and L'Olimpiade.
The Venice Baroque Orchestra, formed in 1997 by Italian conductor Andrea Marcon, provide the orchestral backing and Magdalena gives a delightfully dreamy performance of some lesser heard baroque opera arias.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe her best,
This review is from: Vivaldi (Audio CD)I love all the solo cds of Magdalena Kozena, as her voice ist really wonderful and her performances have a natural, original clarity and strength, without any exaggeration. What is more, she brings us music closer that are rarely performed and rarely known. All this is true with this outstanding cd, which is also recorded in a very high quality. It might be her best.
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva Magdalena!,
This review is from: Vivaldi (Audio CD)Magdalena Kozena, a Czech from Moravia born not far from where Janacek was born and grew up, must surely be one of the greatest mezzo-sopranos of all time. This recording of her singing pieces by Vivaldi is outstanding and I loved listening to every second of it. After originally aspiring to become a leading pianist, she turned to singing after damaging one of her hands when she was around ten years old. This kind of lady is an inspiration to us all.
One can imagine how much Vivaldi would have appreciated her voice and been inspired to write music for it. It's voices like Magdalena's that cause us to pause and realise that the human voice is the greatest of all musical instruments. All I can add is that this recording exemplifies for me all that is best about music and the human voice. The way I see it is: if you like it, you like it; if you don't, you don't; there's no middle ground. Viva Magdalena!
5.0 out of 5 stars Another lovely CD,
This review is from: Vivaldi (Audio CD)Fans of Magdalena Kozena should just order this. The repertoire is interesting and the singing is top class. An easy recommendation.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars breathtaking,
This review is from: Vivaldi (Audio CD)This is my second disc of Kozena, I cannot praise this too highly, the other reviewers have said it all. Her voice is clear and effortless, I look forward to further purchases of this remarkable lady, she is a gem.
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10/10 Perfect!!!!!,
This review is from: Vivaldi (Audio CD)She is Baroque!!!! I just love this album of Vivaldi Arias. I could'nt ask for more. The arias fit here voice. Magnificent!!!!! If you are a Vivaldi lover like me, you vill not be sorry. Buy it to day. This is one of my favorite Vivaldis. Not to much vibrato, not too little. Just perfect. If you listen to her, it just seem it Vivaldi saw 275 year in the feuture, and written for Kozena. I have the highest recomend. Buy it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's truly a gem.
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Vivaldi by Magdalena KozenŠ (Audio CD - 2009)