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Considered one of the rare authentic alto voices of our time, singer Nathalie Stutzmann also devotes part of her career to conducting, which she studied with two exceptional masters: Jorma Panula (who trained Sir Simon Rattle in particular) and Seiji Ozawa.
With the founding of the Orfeo 55 ensemble in 2009, a lifelong dream of Nathalie Stutzmann's came true: having her own chamber orchestra.
Devoted to Antonio Vivaldi, Prima Donna is the first disc where Nathalie Stutzmann holds the twin roles of singer and conductor.
In an era when the public acclaimed castrati, Vivaldi the nonconformist preferred the fascinating timbre of female contralti to whom he accorded a place of honour in his operas. With Prima Donna, Nathalie Stutzmann brilliantly illustrates this historic originality by bringing together the most beautiful arias, either famous or unrecorded, that Vivaldi composed for these adored singers.
Nathalie Stutzmann conducts Orfeo 55 with the musical rigour, expressive freedom and emotional intensity that are hallmarks of her reputation as a singer.
Agitata infido flatu
Ritornello (fragment d'un air pour Ruggiero)
Io sento in questo seno
La gloria del mio sangue
Sento in seno
Con questo ferro indegno
Gemo in un punto
Del goder la bella spene
Sorte che m'invitasti
Ho nel petto
Ritornello (fragment d'un air pour Anastasio)
Lascia almen che ti consegni
Ritornello (fragment d'un air pour Zidiana)
Sovvente il sole
L'Olimpiade: Sinfonia I - Allegro
L'Olimpiade: Sinfonia II - Andante
L'Olimpiade: Sinfonia III - Allegro moderato
Cor mio, che prigion sei
Con la face di Megera
Vincerà l'aspro mio fatto
Ritornello (fragment d'un air pour Medoro)
“Once heard, never forgotten, Stutzmann's dark, coppery contralto has an androgynous quality. Fiery and icy, her expressive nuances are varied but never excessive. She is also a proficient conductor: singer and players breathe as one.”
“Stutzmann's honest musicianship, the superb playing of her ensemble and the well-chosen light and shade of the programme combine to make a exceptional recital.”
“her intelligent command of Orfeo 55 brings taut and vibrant results...It is Stutzmann's matchless singing that makes this disc...[She] realises them all with a sombre beauty of tone that melts the heart and an emotional focus that commands the attention...this is a must-have not just for Vivaldi fans but for anyone with a taste for Baroque vocal music performed at the highest level.”
“Stutzmann is particularly delightful in the da capo [of 'Lascia almen che ti consequi'], in which she reduces her tone to such an intimate level that one feels she should be singing it in private. She eases her voice in long, smooth phrases through the tranquil 'Sovvente il sole' from the serenata Andromeda liberata, an illustration of her control...The recording of both voice and orchestra is first-rate, contributing greatly to a rewarding selection of music.”
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