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Rival Queens Import

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

Price: £15.25 & FREE UK Delivery on orders dispatched by Amazon over £20. Delivery Details
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Rival Queens
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Audio CD, Import, 15 Jul 2014
£15.25
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£15.25 & FREE UK Delivery on orders dispatched by Amazon over £20. Delivery Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 July 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Import
  • ASIN: B00IROIB52
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 306,966 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It must have been very tempting to bring Simone Kermes and Vivica Genaux together as arch rivals Cuzzoni and Bordoni. Kermes has already produced a disc based an Cuzzoni's Handel roles whilst Genaux has produced a disc of Hasse and Handel arias written for Bordoni. Their rivalry is legendary and I have always wanted to hear something from Bononcini's 'Astianatte', the opera where they physically attacked each other on stage! Sadly, the Bononcini arias are, for me, some of the least interesting on the disc. My own highlights include arias by Hasse, Vinci, Sarro and (the unknown to me previously) Pollarollo.

Both artists are very good but Vivica Genaux has the edge for me and is consistently pleasing. She is more of a mezzo than a soprano but Bordoni's roles are often taken by mezzos, so presumably her voice WAS darker than we might expect. Kermes is a little less consistent - indeed, I found her opening number on the disc, by Giuseppe Arena, to be rather disappointing. She quickly improves though and her high notes are as impressive as ever (her bottom is her weakness). As a small side note, the title of the disc suggests that all the material was written for the two rivals and this is a little misleading - there are a few duets on here which the ladies would not have sung together and a couple of arias written for castrati which, according to the notes, the ladies MAY have appropriated! Its fair enough though - its natural that the producers would have wanted to include a few duets and (if Handel's 'Alessandro' is anything to go by) its unlikely that Cuzzoni and Bordoni ever agreed to duet again after THAT opera! This is very enjoyable for anyone who loves baroque opera.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Sony's marketing department have pulled out all the stops to package this latest offering from Simone Kermes (now with added Vivica Genaux). Classy colour photos of both singers in period costume abound, posed to fight with swords, pistols, even boxing gloves - all to celebrate an alleged onstage punchup between Cuzzona and Faustina, the great European divas of the 1720's & 30's. This punchup never happened, as the intelligent historical notes in the cd booklet make clear, if carefully read, but hey! we gotta sell classical cd's somehow.

What we are left with is a recital of arias mostly (not all) for the two divas, Cuzzona's being sung (mostly) by Kermes, and Faustina's (mostly) by Genaux, though it is hard to be sure, the booklet obscuring who sings what and written for whom. The distribution of parts is right, for Genaux has the lower and more agile voice, which is appropriately historically for Faustina (though Genaux is in fact too low, and probably sounds more like a castrato). Genaux is a competent singer, despite a fast bleat inherent in her voice, and she still manages this repertoire quite well, though her voice is showing wear (she's 45: Kermes' age appears to be a state secret). Kermes is not so much a singer as an actress who plays a singer, more like Cathy Berberian than anyone else, though not as entertaining. If you think me hard on her, get hold of the old Christie recording of Hasse's "Cleofide" (it might cost you less than this single disc) and compare Emma Kirkby singing "Se mai piu saro geloso" with Kermes' version here; you will hear at once the difference between real baroque vocalism and an intelligent fake. It's the trills that kill.

On this disc Genaux often adopts Kermes' technique.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's okay, it didn't send shivers down my spine or make the hairs on my arms stand up but pleasant enough listening
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Beautifully sung. The material was not to my taste.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
not all is great Music but it is great singing - if you accept the hysterical style of singing from simone Kermes.vivica geneaux combines the same style with beautiful Sound and ironical charme - in my opinion the right combination. but nevertheless - this disc is a nice and funny Entertainment with a lot of unknown Music.
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