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L’alba separa dalla luce l’ombra
Dawn divides the light from the shadows
Anna Caterina Antonacci’s enchanting recital entitled 'L’alba separa dalla luce l’ombra' delves into a colourful landscape of French and Italian art song. She explores the rich tonal and emotional contrasts of works spanning almost three centuries, with deeply engaging interpretations throughout.
Antonacci is famed for her profound and vivid appearances both on the opera stage [most recently in Covent Garden's The Trojans] and recital platform, and this recording manages to capture her spellbinding, dramatic performance and her ability to give clear voice to the varied, ever-shifting psychological states portrayed through this emotional programme, recorded live on 5th December, 2011.
“Even without her magnetic stage presence, Antonacci presents a vivid 'face' in all she sings here...Antonacci's tone - fierily intense rather than especially rich - can sound a touch strained at climaxes. But she responds with quicksilver intelligence and empathy to the shifting emotional states of these yearning and/or disenchanted lovers...so gripping is Antonacci in everything she sings that it seems churlish to carp.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2012
“If one wants to be pernickety one could possibly say that Antonacci’s vibrato is sometimes over-generous and that she occasionally sounds slightly worn. Under some circumstances this could be quite serious criticism but with so expressive and life-enhancing a singer it hardly matters. This is a delightful programme, delightfully executed and with delightful accompaniments. I wish I had been there!” MusicWeb International, December 2012
“Antonacci and her scrupulous accmpanist Donald Sulzen, provide alert and imaginative accounts of all their material...Antonacci brings individuality to everything she sings, her colouristic range reinforcing her careful definition of text.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2013 ****
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A Journey Through Venice
'A mesmerising performance by DiDonato, who flaunts spectacular technique’ (The Times)
“The sparks fly from the opening set, Rossini's La regata veneziana… as DiDonato seizes upon the songs' operatic impulses. There's a frenzied urgency in the second song, "Anzoleta co passa la regata", for example, that conveys the intense excitement of the race and the passionate palpitations of the woman watching her lover speed towards victory. Throughout, Julius Drake's affectionate, finely shaded playing is an absolute delight.” Gramophone Magazine, October 2006
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Matthew Polenzani & Julius Drake: Songs by Schubert, Beethoven, Britten & Hahn
Wigmore Hall Live’s unrivalled reputation for capturing the world’s best song recitals is continued in its forthcoming October release from the distinguished lyric tenor, Matthew Polenzani.
Often referred to as one of the most gifted and distinguished lyric tenors of his generation, Matthew Polenzani has been praised for the artistic versatility and fresh lyricism that he brings to concert and operatic appearances on leading international stages. He has performed, among many others, opposite Renée Fleming, Anna Netrebko and Diana Damrau, and under the baton of Lorin Maazel, Pierre Boulez and Riccardo Muti. He will shortly be performing at Covent Garden in 'Don Giovanni'.
In this, his debut Wigmore Hall recital, Polenzani brings together the works of Hahn, Beethoven, Britten and Schubert, including 'An die ferne Geliebte' and the 'Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo', alongside leading piano-accompanist, Julius Drake.
Composed in April 1816, 'An die ferne Geliebte', opus 98, is Beethoven's only song cycle. Also appearing on the release are five examples of some of Schubert’s most-loved works, composed in the great age of song. Britten’s 'Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo' and are given added poignancy as they are said to represent a thinly-veiled expression of Britten’s affection for Peter Pears. Finally, the album features Hahn’s album of songs, 'Venezia: Chansons en dialecte vénitien'. Described by the composer as both “light and melancholy”, they received their premiere in Venice, 1901.
“Polenzani is his own man and sings [the Michelangelo sonnets] with much sensitivity. The third of them, 'Veggio co' bei vostri occhi', is intimately restrained...yet [he] contrasts his vocalism when needed by the words and the poet's thoughts...Both artists catch the humour in [Hahn's] rollicking 'Che peca'. All the songs, whoever the composer, find worthy advocates in Polenzani and Drake.” International Record Review, January 2012
“Drake, everywhere a perceptive and supportive accompanist, gives time and space for [the Beethoven] to breathe, and links them with beautifully played preludes and postludes. Polenzani's is a sensitive, outstanding performance...the light suppleness of his tenor facilitates an ardent, word-lively performance of Britten's Michelangelo Sonnets.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2012 ***
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Souvenirs de Venise
“This fizzing, multilingual Venetian 'Souvenir' slips down as gratefully as Prosecco on a hot day. Hahn's Venezia is a delicious epilogue.” BBC Music Magazine, February 2006 ****
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.