Anu Komsi, Finland’s ‘coloratura assoluta’, here presents a wide-ranging programme, from mad scenes and rage arias from 18th- and 19th-century operas, to Alyabyev’s ever-soaring Nightingale and the silvery tinkling of Lakmé’s Bell Song.
Komsi also performs later examples of coloratura, including Glière’s glittering Concerto for coloratura and orchestra, and La Machine de l’être by the composer John Zorn – a work which she premiered in New York City in 2011.
The disc closes with a thoroughly idiomatic performance of Sibelius’ Luonnotar, with its text from the Finnish national epos Kalevala.
Throughout the programme, Anu Komsi is supported by the Lahti Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo.
“Anu Komsi's cosmopolitan experience and technical expertise show in the breadth and quality of her programme. And Sakari Oramo makes much of her accompaniments.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2013 ***
“Are coloratura soprano showcases ever supposed to be this provocative?...Placing Gliere and Zorn on the same disc is a brilliant stroke of programming. Komsi is at her inventive best in creating subtexts to the wordless vocal lines, suggesting a sunny lifetime of experience in Gliere...[Her] artistry comes together fully in Sibelius's Luonnotar” Gramophone Magazine, January 2013