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on 26 July 2001
It is impossible to resist Bartoli in this recital. She is a singer difficult to resist at any time, but this vividly delivered selection of Vivaldi arias is as precious for her contribution as the works are rare. Nothing daunts her: not the rapid spitfire coloratura work or the elegaic poetry of some of the arias. True, some of the runs are aspirated a little too much (perhaps discernable on record only) but they do not spoil the beauty of tone Bartoli pours into each track. Essential listening, for Bartoli, for Vivaldi, or for lovers of antique music.
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on 20 November 2000
What a discovery! Dspite being a fan of Baroque music and period instrument performance for many years I was knocked out by this performance. I have recenly heard Cecilia Bartoli sign Haydn at a London Prom and have been following her career since the beginning so I didn't need much encouragement to listen to this CD. All is ask is that people listen to the Vivaldi Album and discover the true beauty of Vivaldi's vocal work. The choir and orchestra are also superb. This CD is also nicely packaged. I urge Decca to record Bartoli singing more Vivaldi and similar Baroque music. A must have for any lover of the human voice.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 4 August 2014
There was always something of anomaly about this recording insofar as its selection of arias indicates that it is really for the vocal Baroque specialist and/or the canary-fancier, yet Bartoli's status as both a classical music awards winner and almost a crossover singer (in terms of wider appeal than the "average" opera singer) meant that it attracted buyers, many of whom expressed disappointment in the "sameness" of the Vivaldi arias.

I had not listened to this for a long time since its release fifteen years ago but found that my responses and reactions had not modified. The playing of Il Giardino Armonico is lively and spirited, the valveless horns being especially impressive. Bartoli is the same as ever, always employing a touch of aspiration in her runs and breathiness in her attack which some find irritating. Her mezzo-to-soprano range allows her to encompass with ease the wide leaps in the tessitura of the arias. Even when accompanied by a small period orchestra, however, it is noticeable that they are relatively recessed compared to the prominence given the singer; those of us who have heard her live will attest to the fact that the voice is surprisingly and perhaps disappointingly small; even a relatively small and acoustically excellent hall presents a challenge to her ability to be heard with any impact.

Bartoli certainly does everything within her power to bring the arias alive and I don't think the charge of a lack of variety stands up to the scrutiny of anyone reasonably familiar with the Baroque idiom, although I can understand how the general "easy-listener" might be underwhelmed. The similarity of some items to musical ideas and modes familiar to many via the "Four Seasons might be considered a distinct advantage for some unconvinced by Vivaldi’s style; certainly I found much which is charming and delightful if not exactly memorable.
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on 15 June 2000
Cecilia Bartoli brings to life Vivaldi! In "The Vivaldi Album," this dynamic, charismatic, and brilliant mezzo transforms Vivaldi like no other! What a performance! While many may feel that "The Four Seasons" is about the only thing recognizable of Vivaldi, Ms Bartoli takes the music and ascends to the highest levels. With the Arnold Schoenberg Choir, she clearly posts her claim (and lives up to her reputation)as being the best mezzo around today. She notes on the CD liner page that her music is "...a fascinating journey of discovery, exploring...Vivaldi's operas...which have been ignored for far too long." She has succeeded with her efforts--and these efforts seem so effortless.
She has triumped in New York with "Cinderella," among others and certainly has claimed a place in the modern world not only of opera and classical music but of "music for the masses," just as well. What a triumph! Bravissima!
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on 20 April 2016
Cecilia Bartoli is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers of her time, and this CD demonstrates why. The tonal and expressive range of her voice together with a dazzling technique is truly breathtaking at times. Il Giardino Harmonico, acknowledged masters of Baroque performance, provide very impressive and virtuosic support for her. Finally, Vivaldi's surviving operas are shamefully neglected today, and this superb disc presents the best possible case for this situation to change!
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on 24 February 2008
These arias from Vivaldi operas, which may not be the greatest of dramatic works when heard in their complete form, contain many splendid arias which are recorded here. This album is one, if not the best album of Bartoli. It is essential for any Baroque music collection. The playing of Giardino Armonico is spectacular. A real must for any Baroque music or Vivaldi lover.
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on 7 December 1999
In Welsh the verb "canu" translates as "to sing" and "to play" (an instrument). Cecilia Bartoli does just that, she sings and "plays" these Vivaldi's arias with great virtuosity.
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on 11 March 2013
A lovely CD of the amazing Cecilia Bartoli singing absolutely wonderful music by Vivaldi - to die for! And arrived safely and very quickly.
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on 6 February 2000
Where has this music been all my life? I can't remember the last time I have played such unexpectedly exciting music. Such exhilaration and joy from this suprising package. I hesitate to say funky but all of sudden there are burst of pure joy and yes - funky music!
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on 7 August 2011
This was my first Bartoli album. Absolutely breathtaking! She can do anything with her voice. These arias are very interesting examples of baroque drama.
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