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Magdalena Kozená: Lieder

Magdalena Kozená: Lieder

1 Jan 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2004
  • Release Date: 12 April 2004
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • Copyright: (C) 2004 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:03:18
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001QA3TTW
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,445 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is probably the most interesting song recital recorded by a risingstar in recent years. None of the songs were familiar to me, but all arewonderful. Kozena sings in five different languages - French, Italian,English, Russian and German - and does so with confidence and ease. Theaccompaniments - a mixture of piano and strings - are also different andbeautiful. This a recital that can satisfy the listener looking forrelaxation, intellectual engagement, humour and just to wallow in awonderful vocal talent. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars diverging views 26 Mar. 2007
By LuelCanyon - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Reviews are all over the map on this one. I got this disc to hear Kozena sing Ravel's Chansons Madecasses and to sample her Shostakovich. The Ravel is approached from a distance. It definitely lacks the atmospheric effluence of Jessye Norman's singing on her very early recording of it. It's a little dry here. The Shostakovich fares excellently with a crisp, taut singing dynamic that remains, to its credit, unafraid of vocal color. Great approach for Shostakovich's devlish songs that are wickedly difficult to possess. Kozena mostly succeeds there. (Also check out the excellent new series of Shostakovich's Complete Songs on Delos. Satires is on vol.IV, sung by Victoria Evtodieva. The complete collection is a revelation!) The Respighi's a fine piece classic in its proportions, and Kozena sings effectively but not completely freely. Britten's Charm of Lullabies gets an intelligent and modern, thoughtful treatment - the kind of treatment that seems Kozena's great virtue. She's bright and gifted, clearly going places and deserving to. For me, her singing seems inclined to substitute an idea about vocalism and a patina of involvement for the real thing - effective, but not always free. Still, it's amply satisfying to come across artists cooly wielding their careers, and their art, with supple intelligence and highly discerning results. Kozena is such an artist, and this is a fine disc of her art.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Recital par excellence 10 May 2005
By Grady Harp - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Magdalena Kozená is a formidable artist. Not only is she beautiful of voice and figure, she possesses an intelligence for programming and skill with varied musical styles and languages that places her in a category all her own. By electing to present a repertoire of twentieth century songs as far ranging as these by Ravel, Britten, Resphigi, Shostakovich and Schulhoff

she ably demonstrates that she has the vocal skills and sensitivity to make each of these composers' lesser known works convincing.

Kozená vocal lustre is warm and pliable and she is able to ascend the scale with ease and without the too often heard breaks in register. She also chooses her collaborators well, from piano alone to individual instruments to string quartet ensemble: with each she is at one in interpretation and spirit.

Rarely have Britten's 'Charm of Lullabies' felt so effortless. And with the same ease she finds the right 'French' sound for the Ravel and the biting crispness for the Shostakovich. Yet as fine s are all of the segments of this CD are, the highlight is the relatively unknown Ottorino Resphigi 'Il tramonto' with the glowing realization of 'The Sunset' that Kozená offers.

We are fortunate to be living in an age where the mezzo soprano artists are abundant (Susan Graham, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Sarah Connolly, Anne Sophie von Otter, to name but a few). Coupled with the rise in popularity of countertenors we are afforded more opportunities than ever to hear new repertoire for a particular timbre of voice than ever before. Magdalena Kozená is a worthy member of this elite group of artists. Highly recommendeded. Grady Harp, May 05
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling Talent Showcased in Somewhat Erratic Program 5 Nov. 2004
By Ed Uyeshima - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena has a lovely, full voice that runs effortlessly up into the soprano range. Barely in her thirties with a camera-ready face, she is also the subject of a great amount of publicity in the classical world, which is luckily justified thanks to her pure and graceful vocal power. I have yet to see her sing live, but if this recording is any indication, she must be quite theatrically charismatic in performance. Granted there are far more highs than lows, I just wish her selection of material on this recording were as immaculate.

Ambitiously, Kozena paints a musical portrait of the first half of the 20th century by performing song cycles from five disparate composers - Ravel, Shostakovich, Respigi, Schulhoff and Britten - in five different languages. The disc opens unpromisingly with Ravel's "Chansons madecasses", which suffers from an almost too languid quality with a melancholy cello and minor piano chords masking some particularly jarring tones. At certain moments, Schulhoff's "Drei Stimmungsbilder" feels like "Sturm und Drang", but Kozena saves this cycle with her impressive sense of drama and vocal beauty. Shostakovich's "Satires" is an even better showcase at displaying her remarkable dexterity in alternating the embittered tone of Sasha Chorny's verses with an almost playful effervescence. Britten's "A Charm of Lullabies" is so unlike anything else he has written that it is nothing short of a revelation for both composer and singer. His familiar discordant tones are there, especially with the aggressive piano on "Sephestia's Lullaby" and her stern demands for "Quiet!" on "A charm", but so is an intimate sense of atmosphere throughout. Of all the selections, my personal favorite has to be Respighi's lyrical poem "Il tramonto", which really captures her dramatic flair in an especially intimate musical setting propelled by a swooning string quartet. This recording is well worth getting to hear a talent as rich as Kozena's. I only hope her program next time can provide as compelling a match.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ideal voice 15 Sept. 2004
By Thomas More - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The first reviewer's rating does not do justice to Ms.Kozena's latest release. He claims that she's taken on some sort of quest for perfectly articulated singing, which I simply do not believe is the case. The true question is does her practically perfect articulation in any way interfere in our enjoyment of the music? The answer - definitely not! It's a set of wonderful performances from beginning to end. Kozena has the sort of voice on disc (and much credit should be given to the recording engineers for this as well) that one can listen to repeatedly without it grating or wearing on us. My personal favorite is the Resphigi, which DG rightly allowed Gramophone Magazine to have on its sampler disc a few months back.

MK is undoubtably one of DG's premiere artists at the moment, and rightly so. Every label needs its Joshua Bells, Yo Yo Mas and Andrea Bocellis in order to make ends meet and afford to finance the special projects that don't get all the attention. We should be thankful to have in MK an artist who is not only bankable, but creates beautiful work for us to enjoy.

This is one of the best classical vocal recordings of the year!
14 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen to the music 2 Aug. 2004
By Music Lover - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The first review published for this collection was written by

a pretentious blow-hard who has no respect for or understanding of the extraordinarily difficult undertaking of performing vocal music in the art music tradition, much less interpreting in languages other than one's own. Unless they denigrate the excellence of the music itself (or the interpeters who collaborated on the recording), nobody like this should dare

question the remarks of any vocal artist as accomplished as this one, at least not in such a disrespectful tone. When all is said and done, both the recording and the pieces performed in it are excellent in quality. That is the only basis to award a rating, as I have done.
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