Prices shown exclude VAT. (UK tax is not payable for deliveries to United States.)
See Terms & Conditions for p&p rates.
Mozart - Arias for Male Soprano
The highly-rated early music ensemble Boston Baroque and its conductor Martin Pearlman join forces with the talented American singer and true male soprano Michael Maniaci, in a recording of arias that Mozart originally composed for the castrato voice. The disc contains arias from Idomeneo, Lucio Silla, and La Clemenza di Tito, as well as the beloved motet Exsultate, jubilate. The recording also includes two brilliant orchestral pieces, the overtures to Idomeneo and Clemenza.
The first permanent Baroque orchestra established in North America, Boston Baroque is widely regarded as one of the world’s premier period-instrument bands. The ensemble's performances and recordings of the Baroque and Classical repertoire have been hailed by audiences and critics in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia for their freshness, virtuosity, and exuberant appeal. Although Maniaci’s voice is natural, his stunning performances give Boston Baroque the opportunity to add yet another “original” instrument, the male soprano voice, to their performing forces. A voice type that was enormously popular in opera and religious music in the 17th century but completely disappeared over a century ago, the male castrato’s true chest voice – unlike falsetto singers – was in the soprano or alto range, yet extremely powerful due to the male lung capacity. Up until now, all we have really known of this voice are the verbal descriptions of contemporary listeners and a single, scratchy recording made late in the life of the last castrato performer.
“each comes across fully formed, assured in recitative, rhythmically alert, skilful in phrasing...a distinctive musical personality is evident throughout, supporting by first-rate 'period' accompaniment.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2010 ***
“Maniaci’s voice is truly extraordinary. Its range is about a sixth higher than that of most countertenors, and high C presents no problem...The arias...are all delivered with assurance, their testing passages of coloratura negotiated with disarming ease” Sunday Times, 28th February 2010 ***
“This is quite an unsettling recording. It's as though we have opened a door on another world...It's probably the nearest we have to the sound of the castrato voice...the voice is effortless, with no hint of a break into falsetto” The Observer, 28th March 2010
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
Mozart, The Supreme Decorator
An explanation of the glorious music you will hear on this disc is given by Sir Charles Mackerras in the booklet that accompanies the CD.
"As we approach the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, I feel that it is appropriate to look into two aspects of Mozart’s composition which are not usually commented on but which actually give us new insight into the way this great composer’s mind worked. The first will show Mozart ornamenting his own vocal music in order to teach a young singer (with whom he was in love), how he could heighten the expressiveness or the brilliance of an aria by the judicious addition of extra notes, effects and cadenzas. The other aspect of Mozart, which will be shown on this CD, is that of Mozart the Borrower. He was often inspired by another composer’s work and determined to write a composition in similar style. In doing so, he often transformed a quite pleasant and charming original into pure gold, so that it became a work of genius. Mozart particularly admired the music of his somewhat senior contemporary, Johann Christian Bach. In this recording we will show how Mozart’s borrowings from J.C. Bach were turned into some of his most divine inspirations"
Sir Charles Mackerras with his gifted singers Majella Cullagh, Diana Montague and Elizabeth Futral give us the rare opportunity to hear Mozart’s thoughts on decoration.
“Each aria is presented first in its unadorned form, and then in a more intricate version that Mozart tailor-made for the talents of the young soprano Aloysia Weber at the time he was courting her. No less fascinating are the items demonstrating Mozart's borrowings from JC Bach. Mackerras conducts stylishly.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2005 *****
“As Mackerras convincingly demonstrates, the bravura aria from JC Bach's La clemenza di Scipione - in effect a sinfonia concertante for voice and instruments - was the blueprint for Konstanze's 'Martern aller Arten' in Die Entführung. Futral sings both numbers with spirit and technical aplomb. After this riot of virtuosity the duet 'Ah, perdona' from La clemenza di Tito, tenderly sung by Futral and Montague, makes an envoi of serene beauty. The Hanover Band play crisply and stylishly under Mackerras's alert direction.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2005
(also available to download from $10.50)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)