Vivaldi: L'Olimpiade - Act 1: Mentre Dormi, Amor Formenti
“…redolent with that distinctive Vivaldian poetry are hauntingly beautiful arias from Farnace, L'Olimpiade and Orlando furioso. Their lyrical appeal and expression of deep emotions are affecting, enlivened and intensified at every turn by Kožená's vocal colour and intuitive responses. The Venice Baroque Orchestra is both complementary and supportive throughout.”
“The decision to pack the programme with slower and subtler arias pays dividends: "Sonno, se pur sei sonno" (Tito Manlio) is a quietly ravishing opener, "Sol da te" (Orlando furioso) features beguiling flute-playing by Michele Favaro, and the disc concludes with an exquisite interpretation of "Mentre dormi" (L'Olimpiade). There is plenty of dramatic bite on offer... especially in the compellingly taut "Gelido in ogni vena" (based on the opening of "Winter" from the Four Seasons), as Kožená eloquently conveys Farnace's icy shock that he has unwittingly condemned his son to death. There haven't been many captivating Vivaldi opera aria anthologies, but this is definite among the most intriguing, theatrically varied and convincing.”
1st July 2009
“Kozená is a technically assured singer who can give Bartoli a run for her money in a virtuoso martial aria such as “Armatae face” from Juditha Triumphans.... Highlights of the recital include the enchantingly wry and playful “Cara sorte” from La verità in cimento and “Gelido in ogni venta” from Farnace , which recycles material from The Four Seasons .”
5th June 2009
“Magdalena Kozená has almost become the Barack Obama of mezzo-sopranos. With that mesmerising voice, that magnetic personality, everybody wants a piece of her, after the Handel recital last year she raids the Baroque pleasure dome again, with 15 Vivaldi opera arias, largely unfamiliar, sung naturally in Italian.”
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