Monday, August 30, 2010

Mozart - Magdalena Kozena - Mozart arias - Simon Rattle

Mozart - Magdalena Kozena - Mozart arias - Simon Rattle
Opera | Eac, flac, cue | log, cover | 1 CD, 288 MB
November 14, 2006 | ARCHIV | RapidShare matter how many Mozart discs you may already possess, this new recording demands to be added to the collection.

Mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená’s first-ever recording with Sir Simon Rattle serves up an enticing selection of Mozart arias from Le Nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, La Clemenza di Tito and Idomeneo, plus a couple of insertion arias and the showpiece occasional aria Ch’io mi scordi di te?. This is by no means the first such disc to appear in this Mozart anniversary year; Carolyn Sampson on Hyperion and Swedish soprano Miah Persson on BIS are among those who have delighted the senses with particularly fine vocal recordings. However, I have to say that were I forced to choose one disc of Mozart arias above all others, it would have to be this new offering from Deutsche Grammophon. Kožená is in truly rapturous voice. Susanna’s teasing Deh vieni, non tardar comes across as if she were intoxicated with love, the texture of the voice changing from cream to velvet at the lower end of her range; Cherubino’s Non so più is a breathless outpouring of exuberant youthful ardour; Despina’s exasperated, at times almost sly aria In uomini is a real show-stopper. The more substantial arias are even better; Kožená’s word-painting in Fiordiligi’s recitative and rondo is stunning, with her menacing rolled r’s in vergogna e orror (shame and horror) conveying a wealth of emotion in themselves. A seemingly inexhaustible variety of vocal colour and even silence are used to great effect, and throughout the disc the soloist has especially fine support from Rattle and the OAE. The string tone changes chameleon-like to match the singer’s mood; the horns and clarinets sail through challenging passages with ease; and Jos van Immerseel’s fortepiano playing displays virtuosity of the highest order in Ch’io mi scordi di te?. Kožená excels in this aria, conveying deeply-felt longing in smoky tones, but always with enough substance of voice to match the power of the orchestra, and with passionate delivery of the text that somehow never intrudes on her beautiful phrasing. It is interesting that the fortepiano never comes near to overpowering the soloist; indeed, Kožená says that she prefers to perform with period instruments at a lower pitch (A=430 here) as the different colours of the instruments seem to mix better with her voice. (For a contrasting but equally valid approach, try Miah Persson’s performance of this aria with the modern-instrument Swedish Chamber Orchestra on the BIS label, where Evgeny Sudbin plays a Steinway with a passion that gives both singer and orchestra a run for their money – equally dramatic, but a quite different effect!) And just to make sure that the listener does not come away feeling over-sated with familiar arias, in addition to two insertion arias (Vado, ma dove? for Martin y Soler’s opera Il burbero di buon core and Alma grande, e nobil core for Cimarosa’s I due baroni di Rocca Azzurra) the performers slip in a replacement aria for Susanna’s Deh vieni, non tardar and an ornament-encrusted version of Cherubino’s Voi che sapete. This latter is by the Italian composer Domenico Corri, who moved to Edinburgh at the age of 25 and later to London, where he published a book that included guidance on how singers should decorate their lines to “improve” their expressive potential. We should be grateful that Ms Kožená has seen fit to include only one example of Corri’s work; the phrase “over-egging the pudding” comes to mind, despite the aplomb with which she carries it off! But seriously – no matter how many Mozart discs you may already possess, this new recording demands to be added to the collection.--Anne McAlister

Track listing

01. Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 4 - Giunse alfin il momento...Deh, vieni, non tardar... 4:17
02. Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 - with embellishments by Domenico Corri / Act 2 - Voi che sapete 3:06
03. Ch'io mi scordi di te... Non temer, amato bene, K.505 10:36
04. Così fan tutte ossia La scuola degli amanti, K.588 / Act 1 - "In uomini, in soldati" 2:55
05. Così fan tutte ossia La scuola degli amanti, K.588 / Act 2 - "Ei parte...Per pietà" 9:33
06. Così fan tutte ossia La scuola degli amanti, K.588 / Act 2 - "E amore un ladroncello" 3:13
07. La clemenza di Tito, K.621 / Act 2 - "Non più di fiori" 7:05
08. Idomeneo, re di Creta, K.366 / Act 1 - "Quando avran fine omai" - "Padre, germani, addio!" 8:01
09. Vado, ma dove? oh Dei!, K.583 4:28
10. Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 1 - "Non so più cosa son, cosa faccio" 2:46
11. Alma grande e nobil core, K.578 4:28
12. Le nozze di Figaro, K.492 / Act 3 - "Giunse alfin..." _ "Al desio di chi t'adora" (K.577) 7:28

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