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With a voice described as "one of the most beautiful Britain has seen in a generation" (IRR), Elizabeth Watts has established herself among the brightest talents performing today. After training as a chorister at Norwich Cathedral, Elizabeth went on to study archaeology at Sheffield University before attending the Royal College of Music in London.
Her many prizes include the 2006 Kathleen Ferrier Prize (UK), the 2007 Outstanding Young Artist Award at the Cannes MIDEM Classique Awards and the Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize at the 2007 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. A former ‘BBC New Generation Artist’, she received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2011 and this recording is supported by the Trust. Her critically praised debut recording of Schubert Lieder was followed by an equally acclaimed disc of Bach Cantatas (harmonia mundi), a programme of Richard Strauss Lieder with Roger Vignoles, and a recording of Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music led by Richard Egarr.
In this selection of rarely heard Alessandro [rather than Domenico] Scarlatti arias from his cantatas, oratorios and operas, she is joined by the acclaimed period instrument ensemble The English Concert led by Laurence Cummings. Elizabeth is currently recording Couperin's 'Lecons de Tenebres' with Lucy Crowe and La Nuova Musica for harmonia mundi.
Alessandro Scarlatti: Griselda: Figlio! Tiranno! O Dio!
Griselda: Figlio! Tiranno! O Dio!
Alessandro Scarlatti: Endimione e Cintia: Aria "Se geloso è il mio core"
Endimione e Cintia: Aria "Se geloso è il mio core"
Alessandro Scarlatti: Non so qual più m’ingombra: Aria "Nacque, col Gran Messia"
Non so qual più m’ingombra: Aria "Nacque, col Gran Messia"
Alessandro Scarlatti: Eraclea: Aria "A questo nuovo affanno"
Eraclea: Aria "A questo nuovo affanno"
Alessandro Scarlatti: La Santissima Vergine del Rosario: Aria "Mentr'io godo in dolce oblio"
La Santissima Vergine del Rosario: Aria "Mentr'io godo in dolce oblio"
Alessandro Scarlatti: Correa Nel Seno Amato: Aria "Ombre opache"
Correa Nel Seno Amato: Aria "Ombre opache"
Alessandro Scarlatti: Erminia: Recitativo "Qui, dove al germogliar"
Erminia: Recitativo "Qui, dove al germogliar"
Alessandro Scarlatti: Erminia: Aria "Torbido, irato, e nero"
Erminia: Aria "Torbido, irato, e nero"
Alessandro Scarlatti: Aria "Con voce festiva"
Aria "Con voce festiva"
Alessandro Scarlatti: Mitridate Eupatore: Recitativo "O vane speme!" - Aria "Cara tomba del mio diletto"
Mitridate Eupatore: Recitativo "O vane speme!" - Aria "Cara tomba del mio diletto"
Alessandro Scarlatti: Tigrane: Aria "Sussurrando il venticello"
Tigrane: Aria "Sussurrando il venticello"
Alessandro Scarlatti: Scipione nelle Spagne: Aria "Ergiti, Amor, su i vanni"
Scipione nelle Spagne: Aria "Ergiti, Amor, su i vanni"
Alessandro Scarlatti: Mitridate Eupatore: Aria "Dolce stimolo al tuo bel cor"
Mitridate Eupatore: Aria "Dolce stimolo al tuo bel cor"
Alessandro Scarlatti: Venere, Amore e Ragione: Aria "D'amor l'accesa face"
Venere, Amore e Ragione: Aria "D'amor l'accesa face"
Alessandro Scarlatti: La Statira: Aria "Io non son di quei campioni"
La Statira: Aria "Io non son di quei campioni"
Alessandro Scarlatti: A battaglia, pensieri: Sinfonia - Aria "A battaglia, pensieri"
A battaglia, pensieri: Sinfonia - Aria "A battaglia, pensieri"
8th October 2015
“Golden-voiced soprano Elizabeth Watts has spent the past few years unearthing neglected arias by Alessandro Scarlatti...Watts just about gets away with the spectacular pyrotechnics but is most affecting when Scarlatti takes his foot off the accelerator.”
“this is exciting music, revealing an enormous range of colour and emotions through both scoring and vocal line. Watts grabs every opportunity with a voice of perfect weight, pliancy and line, offering a solid middle balanced with an exciting top.”
“The music is fascinating, often revelatory, the playing of The English Concert first-rate (Laurence Cummings always has a precise ear for texture and colour), while the mingled grace, brilliance and expressive intensity of Watt’s singing could hardly be bettered.”
11th October 2015
“Here given new life with the invigorating English Concert, skittering firework displays alternate with soulful contemplation in a programme full of surprises.”
“As her career has progressed, Watts hasn't lost the ability to get to the heart of an aria and peel back the layers…there's scintillating playing from The English Concert, including a dashing obbilgato solo by violinist Huw Daniel in 'Esci omai'.”
12th December 2015
“it’s amazing, tightrope walking stuff there; the fact that she can control her vibrato and actually distinguish between a trill and that vibrato and some of those high notes; the sheer tone quality is astonishing, and the way she’s managing to blend with the trumpet; this is a contest without an obvious winner, and that’s very much in the recording’s favour.”
The Arts Desk
26th December 2015
“Watts and director Laurence Cummings give us a dazzling sequence of numbers. Her voice is thrilling at full pelt: brassy enough to make your windows rattle, but sensitive and seductive in the quieter moments. There’s some glorious, athletic trumpet playing from Mark Bennett, and the whole anthology fizzes with theatrical energy.”
22nd February 2016
“Trumpeter Mark Bennett joins the singer occasionally, most effectively in the martial A battaglia, where soprano and brass battle it out for the virtuoso honours, while violinist Huw Daniel also vies for attention in an extended sequence from the serious opera Mitridate. But the album, of course, belongs to Watts, who receives nothing but the most sympathetic support from Laurence Cummings and The English Concert.”