Performer: Magdalena Kozena
Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
Orchestra: Venice Baroque Orchestra
Conductor: Andrea Marcon
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks+cue)
Size: 335 MB
01. “Sonno, se pur sei sonno”
02. “Armatae face”
03. Solo quella guancia bella
04. Gelido in ogni vena
05. Tornar voglio al primo ardore
06. Sol da te, mio dolce amore
07. Misero spirto mio
08. Nel profondo
09. Forse o caro in questi accenti
10. Cara sorte di chi nata
11. Ho il cor gia lacero
12. Non mi lusinga vana speranza
13. Lo stridor, l’orror
14. Andero, volero, gridero
15. Mentre dormi, Amor formenti
Beautiful Vivaldi alongside the virtuosic
In the early 1990’s Italian mezzo Cecilia Bartoli started to revive the early baroque operatic works of Antonio Vivaldi. Since then, numerous ensembles and vocalists came to specialise in works of this composer, and his hitherto unknown or `lost’ operas revived.
Magdalena Kozena’s venture into this composer is by no means pioneering.
That said, this Vivaldi album does have its own credits, as it showcases the mezzo’s gently lyrical qualities as much as her virtuosic skills. The more virtuosic “Armatae face” from the oratorio Juditha Triumphans was sung by a soprano in its premiere. It has never been a castrato piece. The two arias from La Verit’in Cimento are more lyrical in nature, and Kozena’s singing is aptly mellifluous and melodic. `Sol da te, mio dolce amore’ from Orlando Furioso as well as `Forse o caro in questi accenti’ from Il Farnace are more nostalgic, and the pathos are well-brought out with affectation. The other `Nel Profondo’ on the other hand showcases fierce Vivaldian virtuosic feats, while `Gelido in ogni vena’ from Il Farnace, `Ander Voler grider’ from L’Orlando finto pazzo and Griselda’s `Ho il cor gia A lacero’ echo the `Four Seasons’. Kozena is able to toss these pieces off with precision of articulation and beautiful enunciation. Musicality is never sacrificed for the sake of virtuosity.
`Tornar voglio al primo ardore’ from Arsilda is perhaps the emotionally most affecting piece in the collection, and Kozena’s timbre brings much subtle expressiveness required here. Ottone’s piece `Misero spirto mio’ is perhaps the most demanding piece technically to pull off, but Kozena skims over the dynamics and tempi variations with real ease and bravura.
All in all, a tremendously successful recital in the different facets of Vivaldi.