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Customer Review

TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 20 August 2011
I was a little concerned that the repertoire here - from the age of Monteverdi, the early Baroque - would not sit well with Kozená`s vocal sound; this kind of material is usually the province of cool, vibrato-less sopranos - early-music specialists. I needn't have worried; the performances here are wonderful. Her interpretations have a spirited flamboyance and the colours of her voice bring the music to life with tastefully expressive passion, and a carefully reigned-in vibrato.
With the exception of Monteverdi and Strozzi, none of the composers here are likely to be known to many; the pieces chosen range from lilting dance tunes - Cacchini`s "Odi, Euterpe, il dolce canto" as a particularly swaggering example - to lover's laments - D`India`s setting of a Tasso poem "Ma che? Squallido e oscuro" with lyrics so morbid its guaranteed to appeal to your inner Goth. There is so much to like here, but the standout track for me is Strozzi`s "Udite amanti"` a lament Kozená treats with a glorious sensuality.
A word on the band, Private Musicke; these kinds of songs would normally have been performed with just a lute accompaniment; here the group use a variety of instruments with guitars very much to the fore. The richer sound this creates complements Kozená`s voice beautifully. There are five brief instrumental features on the disc which bring a nice improvisatory Spanish tinge to the proceedings.
Is this authentic period-performance? I know not and care not.
This is beautiful singing and playing and if any liberties are being taken it is for the enhancement of the music - Kozená is a performer I`ve learned to trust aesthetically and this is a splendid addition to my library.
I suggest you add it to yours too, you won't be disappointed.
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Product Details

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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