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Julia Lezhneva - Graun Arias

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 April 2017)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B01N0EX7BQ
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,262 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Digital Booklet: Graun: Opera Arias
Digital Booklet: Graun: Opera Arias
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Product description

Product Description

11 World Premiere Recordings.

A journey of discovery for Lezhneva, who spent days in a Berlin library unearthing this music.

Incredible undiscovered arias from Carl Heinrich Graun (1704-1759), one of the most important German composers of the 18th century but almost unknown today. Lezhneva sings arias written for the most renowned singers of the era - Giovanna Astrua, Giovanna Gasparini and castratp Antonio Uberti detto 'Porporino'.

Music of great virtuosity: vibrant, joyful and fiery arias contrast with tragic and deeply felt laments.

Concerto Köln, one of Germany’s finest period instrument orchestras, are led by young conductor (and pianist) Mikhail Antonenko and feature an array of world-class baroque musicians including violinist Dmitry Sinkovsky and lutenist Luca Pianca

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Format: Audio CD
This is Lezhneva's fourth solo album – her third for Decca – which is not bad going for a twenty-eight year old singer, and very much a niche specialist at that. I disliked her last CD, called simply "Handel", both for its style and content, but it must have sold well as Decca have given the artist carte blanche for this new effort, a co-production with German Radio. She and her partner Mikhail Antonenko got excited by Carl Heinrich Graun's only famous aria "Mi paventi il figlio indegno" and went in search of other works by this Berlin composer of the 1740's. They came up with the eleven arias recorded here – plus "Mi paventi" – all claimed as premier recordings.

Lezhneva has said before now that Porpora's work fits her voice like a glove, and Porpora and Graun share much the same style. It's elaborately decorative, a vocal equivalent of baroque plaster or woodwork, and intensely difficult to sing. Lezhneva's great quality is the ease and fluency of her coloratura, so I think her instinct is right, and one has to admire the enthusiasm with which she and Antonenko have approached this project. But the couple are amateurs when it comes to musicology, and have become rather too enthusiastic about Graun. He strikes me as rather generic. Yes, there's that one famous aria, but then sopranos also went on singing "The soldier tir'd of war's alarms" right through the 19th century without anyone supposing Arne was an important composer. I heard only one other piece here which I thought worth attention – track 11 "A tanti pianti mei".

Nor do the performances suit me, I'm afraid, admirer of Lezhneva's gifts though I be.
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