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on 13 November 2012
I write this review only because of pure indignation at the three star review. No offence my friend but this is some of the best coloratura singing I have heard. Kermes is an outstanding singer of course and known to me through other disks in Vivaldi and Handel. This though is very special. Alto Giove in particular is just jaw dropping.

And for those that care, the quality of the recorded sound is outstanding
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on 20 June 2014
I love Simone Kermes for several reasons - her amazing vocal range and splendid pyrotechnics, her obviously quirky personality and presentation and the fact that she keeps churning out discs full of terrific baroque music by composers seldom (though more often than they used to be) recorded. It is true that she does like to show off her high notes possibly a little too much but it is very exciting! 'Dramma' is the third such anthology that I own and its every bit as splendid as its predecessors. There are some truly splendid pieces here. I especially enjoy the stately pomp of 'Se dopo ria procella' from Porpora's 'Germanico' and the elegant yet virtuoso of the same composer's 'Vedra turbato il mare' from 'Mitridate'. Then there's the splendid martial 'Per trionfar pugnando' from the little known Majo. La Magnifico Comunita (?) provide excellent accompaniment in what is an altogether splendid disc.
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on 21 August 2012
I know that Simone Kermes has fans and foes and I confess happily that I belong to the first group. Nevertheless, I would like to think that this does not stop me from listening critically to her music. But no matter what I do, I have not found a single weak track in her newest album. Many arias by the likes of Hasse and Porpora, quite a few of them never before recorded, and all of them vintage Kermes. When comparing this album to her earlier ones, I do not think that her productivity so far has had any negative impact on the quality of her singing or on her success in finding relatively unknown but great music. In well-known arias like Porpora's Alto Giove Kermes also proves that she has something to add to music that has already been recorded by the likes of e.g. Jaroussky and Cencic. And in spite of all the serious music making, there is a nice little joke at the expense of the fans of vinyl in track one.
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on 9 March 2013
Only one word for this recording - it is absolutely STUNNING! I have bought this for friends and to a man (and a woman) they are raving about it. If you like baroque music and or fine singing it's a must.
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on 16 April 2015
I have been blown away by this production.Apart from the most wonderful singing , La Magnifica Comunita really nail things. What comes across here in particular on " Per Trionfar Pugna" is sheer joy ! . My steps are now lighter ! . Like other review, I wonder where " Fra Cento Affani is ! ? .. Just Fantastic.
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on 11 August 2013
Absolutely wonderful - an absolute triumph of voice - I don't think that I have ever heard such an electrifying performance such as this
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on 18 February 2013
In her notes Kermes starts from Tosi's 1723 book, the prime source for 18th century opera singing, and in five pages she summarises Tosi's ideas about technique in the light of her own experience. It's the best short introduction to singing the baroque that I've come across.

Kermes' selection of music for the disc is also very interesting, particularly the five arias by Porpora not previously recorded. Some of these are works written to be sung in London in direct competition with Handel's later operas, and they make for illuminating comparison - or they might, if Kermes' practice lived up to the quality of her theory.

But it does'nt. Her natural voice sounds rather tight, her singing of runs is sometimes laboured (unless they are very quick), she has to yelp her way up to high notes and she doesn't even pretend to have a trill - a fatal shortcoming in this repertoire. These problems affect her singing, but worse is her regular failure to sing at all. She prefers to croon into the microphone, using an unsupported head voice, especially in quiet passages. This technique is common among all vocalists who use microphones, and I understand why it pleases some listeners, but it's not what Tosi would have called singing, nor anyone else who uses their voice without a microphone in rooms of any size.

Sony's recording matches Kermes's artificiality with a soft-focus, base-enhanced sound, and a suitably ludicrous artwork presentation.

I will say however in Kermes' favour, that being relatively unprepossessing of both voice and person, she must have outstanding powers of self-promotion to have persuaded Sony to spend this much money on her, not just once, but several times.
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on 2 October 2012
I heard this CD reviewed on Radio 3 I think, and bought it as a result. Sorry, but I was disappointed. It sounds to me like a pale imitation of Cecilia Bartoli, even to the highly-ornamented "discoveries" of baroque arias. In slow arias, Bartoli shows a much richer palette of vocal colours. And in the bravura stuff she seems to cope with ample reserve whereas Kermes sounds pushed to the limit.
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