- Performer: Cecilia Bartoli
- Orchestra: Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
- Conductor: Bernhard Forck
- Composer: Christoph Willibald Gluck
- Audio CD (10 Aug. 2010)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Decca (UMO)
- ASIN: B00005ND3K
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,409 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Cecilia Bartoli: Gluck Italian Arias
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Cecilia Bartoli - Gluck: Italian Arias
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After the pan-global success of her disc of Vivaldi arias, mezzo Cecilia Bartoli is clearly a woman on a mission to rescue the neglected operatic output of otherwise well-known composers. Of the eight arias by Gluck on this disc, six have never been recorded before--and it's likely that the operas they have been taken from will be unknown to all but the most obsessive buffs. Unfortunately, even Bartoli can't quite make a case for all the material here: it sometimes lapses into the excessive passage-work and routine arpeggios which are especially obvious in the first track. But there's also plenty of Gluck at his most inspired, writing with acute sympathy for a woman going mad at the thought of her lover's impending execution (track 3) and screwing dramatic tension to almost Verdian levels with the words "estremi sospiri" (final breaths) in an aria from La clemenza di Tito (track 7). Bartoli is as amazing as ever, blending her trademark intensity and almost unbearably gorgeous lyricism into an explosive mix of vocal fabulousness. She is accompanied with period vigour by the Akademie für Alte Musik. --Warwick Thompson
Top Customer Reviews
The transformation is welcome for those fans who enjoyed her previous effort at resurrecting some of Vivaldi's more obscure works; she has accepted the verdict that classical listeners are happy to discover music with her rather than be spoon-fed the usual favourites, and it's that realisation that makes this second serving magical.
Those who enjoy the more coloratura aspects of Bartoli's voice will not be disappointed. As she matures, so does the voice, and her range would now be the envy of any soprano, never mind any other mezzo. The high Ds and E-flats are effortless and heavenly, and the control and accuracy over the whole of her range is exemplary as usual.
This album has something for both the more cerebral listener who enjoys a challenge, and for anyone who can appreciate a quality mezzo voice. The packaging alone is worth the price; it will be very surprising indeed if the included book does not prove to be award-winning, both for graphic design and useful educational content.
Overall, this recording is a must for all fans of early opera, and it only takes one or two listening sessions to get a feel for where Bartoli's next project, an album of esoteric arias originally intended for the castrato voice, will take us.
Ten stars would not be enough
As always with Bartoli, the singing is first rate. Well judged with a few vocal ornaments along the way which, for me, add rather than detract from the performances. A must for all Bartoli fans, I've only played the album once & its already a firm favourite of mine!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gluck was the great opera moderniser and these arias, wonderfully performed, illustrate the style which prevailed in Italy beofre Gluck's modernisation in the 1740s and 12750s.Published on 18 Feb. 2014 by George Law
Not much I can add to the excellent review above. Bartoli is an operatic heroine: she explores repertoire others never bother about and forces us to enjoy music which has become... Read morePublished on 29 Jun. 2013 by Enobarbus